What makes some people easy to bond with, while others are difficult to get to know? What makes one person likeable, while someone else is seen as stand offish or distant? When you study interpersonal relationships, you will realize that many unconscious triggers affect how you interact with people, and how you are perceived by them.
Here are 4 relationship secrets that will help you form stronger positive relationships with new people that you meet, and allow you to quickly and easily turn strangers into friends.
First and foremost, people want to do business with people who are LIKE THEM. It’s a matter of AFFINITY. At a subconscious level, you are most open and receptive to people who are like you, who look like you, and act like you, and dress like you, and talk like you, and who went to the same school, or served in the same branch of the military. It’s a series of shared common bonds that make it easy to connect at a personal level. That’s why going to college alumni events, networking through your church, meeting people in a volunteer role, or participating in a shared activity is so important — it allows you to create affinity bonds. And that’s why every salesman talks about sports when you meet – it’s one of the easiest way to form almost instantaneous bonds of affinity. And it’s why you ask questions and probe when you meet a new contact – you are searching for affinity bridges to immediately form a positive relationship.
People want to work with and do business with people they LIKE. Likeability is a key attribute to cultivate in your career – and for everything you do in life. In fact, most employers will hire a less-qualified employee who is likeable over a more qualified candidate they don’t bond with. You must be friendly, sociable, smile, be sincere, be caring, and honestly enjoy life with gusto and be passionate about the work you do. Negative emotions like unhappiness, pessimism, cynicism, depression, anger, and hostility are instantly transmitted to people around you at a subconscious level — they follow you like a dark cloud and contaminate everyone you meet. They make you unlikeable, and that’s a relationship killer. Change your outlook on life, or put the negative behind you to achieve career success. You can’t fake it, so change it.
People like and relate with people in the limelight. So it’s important to DO THINGS that position yourself publicly in a positive light. This includes volunteering to help others, serving on the Board of a professional association, becoming a speaker at a special event, gaining recognition by blogging or writing for a journal or magazine, or otherwise actively engaging in activities that will make you visible to others in the community that you might want to get to know.
- Frequency of Contact
I’ve learned a relationship secret: if you see a person in the same place or event multiple times, you automatically consider them to be a friend, whether or not you speak or introduce yourself. The first time you show up at a given place or event, you are a stranger. The third or fourth time you see each other in the same context, you nod and say “Hi”. By the fifth or sixth time, you say “Hi” and interact in a friendly way — just by being in the same place at multiple times, you automatically become friends. Try it out at the health club, the library, a bookstore, a bar, a club, or Starbucks.
You can further your career by getting known in this natural way by joining your trade association and going to all the events, consistently attending networking events, or going to lunches or dinners where your potential employers or customers congregate. So it’s important that you get out and spend time where the people you want to meet and influence can be found on a consistent basis.
When you master these 4 likeability-building techniques, you will soon find yourself to be a master networker, attracting the people you want to meet and do business with.