You might hear words like ‘cutthroat’ tossed around in the workplace all the time, but the reality is, it’s not pure, unbridled competitiveness alone that makes you successful. The other, big part of the picture is how likable you are, or as Guy Kawasaki says it, how enchanting you are — having the uncanny ability to draw others in, which can pay immense personal and professional dividends. Here’s how to authentically get your enchant game on.
When you engage in behaviors that demonstrate trust–for example, sharing a small amount of personal information–you communicate a certain degree of vulnerability. Your listener takes that vulnerability and translates it into, “they let their guard down, therefore, they’re not a threat and I don’t have to work so hard to protect myself, either.” They reciprocate and trust you back. From the scientific standpoint, a lot of this has to do with mirror neurons in the brain. When you model something, mirror neurons help another person be empathetic and recreate what they’re seeing. Try it out.
Most people naturally want to prove they are “right” to other people. They take sides. Finding ground you share, however, is more difficult. It requires putting aside your own ego, intelligently analyzing what you’ve heard, and minimizing conflict. Doing it well thus draws the other person because it makes them feel like you’re smart and respectful.
Pointing out perceived faults in someone else or trying to change them to what’s “right” almost immediately distances you from that person. That’s because judges have authority over the person they judge. You’re essentially throwing your “superiority” in their face. All people really want is to be heard, to be welcomed as they are, so that they don’t have to be afraid of rejection and feel secure. Convince them they’re OK as is and they’ll want to spend more time with you, if only to feel that security again.
We all have our rough spots. No one is perfect. But when you look for similarity, stop judging and open yourself up, you’ll look ridiculously more attractive to others, and people will want to be a part of that tribe.