Meeting new people can be awkward. What should you say? How can you make a good impression? How do you keep a conversation going? Research shows relationships are vital to happiness and networking is the key to getting jobs and building a fulfilling career. But what’s the best way to build rapport and create trust? Plain and simple, who can explain how to get people to like you? Robin Dreeke can. Robin was head of the FBI’s Behavioral Analysis Program and has studied interpersonal relations for over 27 years. He’s an expert on how to make people like you.
1) The Most Important Thing To Do With Anyone You Meet
Robin’s #1 piece of advice: “Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them.”
Ask questions. Listen. But don’t judge. Nobody — including you — likes to feel judged.
The number one strategy I constantly keep in the forefront of my mind with everyone I talk to is non-judgmental validation. Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them. People do not want to be judged in any thought or opinion that they have or in any action that they take.
It doesn’t mean you agree with someone. Validation is taking the time to understand what their needs, wants, dreams and aspirations are.
2) Suspend Your Ego To Get People To Like You
Most of us are just dying to point out how other people are wrong. (Comment sections on the internet are fueled by this, aren’t they?)
And it kills rapport. Want to correct someone? Want to one-up them with your clever little story? Don’t do it.
Ego suspension is putting your own needs, wants and opinions aside. Consciously ignore your desire to be correct and to correct someone else. It’s not allowing yourself to get emotionally hijacked by a situation where you might not agree with someone’s thoughts, opinions or actions.
3) How To Be A Good Listener
We’ve all heard that listening skills are vital but nobody explains the right way to do it. What’s the secret?
Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and focus on what they’re saying right now.
Be curious and ask to hear more about what interests you.
Listening isn’t shutting up. Listening is having nothing to say. There’s a difference there. If you just shut up, it means you’re still thinking about what you wanted to say. You’re just not saying it. The second that I think about my response, I’m half listening to what you’re saying because I’m really waiting for the opportunity to tell you my story.
What you do is this: as soon as you have that story or thought that you want to share, toss it. Consciously tell yourself, “I am not going to say it.”
All you should be doing is asking yourself, “What idea or thought that they mentioned do I find fascinating and want to explore?”
4) The Best Question To Ask People
Life can be tough for everyone: rich or poor, old or young. Everyone.
We all face challenges and we like to talk about them. So that’s what to ask about.
A great question I love is challenges. “What kind of challenges did you have at work this week? What kind of challenges do you have living in this part of the country? What kinds of challenges do you have raising teenagers?” Everyone has got challenges. It gets people to share what their priorities in life are at that point in time.
5) How To Make Strangers Feel At Ease
First thing: tell them you only have a minute because you’re headed out the door.
When people think you’re leaving soon, they relax. If you sit down next to someone at a bar and say, “Hey, can I buy you a drink?” their shields go way up. It’s “Who are you, what do you want, and when are you leaving?” That “when are you leaving” is what you’ve got to answer in the first couple of seconds.
6) The Best Body Language For Building Rapport
Your words should be positive, free of ego and judgment — and your body language (“non-verbals”) needs to match.
Here are the things Robin recommends:
- “The number one thing is you’ve gotta smile. You absolutely have to smile. A smile is a great way to engender trust.”
- “Keep that chin angle down so it doesn’t appear like you’re looking down your nose at anyone. And if you can show a little bit of a head tilt, that’s always wonderful.”
- “You don’t want to give a full frontal, full body display. That could be very offensive to someone. Give a little bit of an angle.”
- “Keep your palms up as you’re talking, as opposed to palms down. That says, “I’m hearing what you’re saying. I’m open to what your ideas are.”
- “So I always want to make sure that I’m showing good, open, comfortable non-verbals. I just try to use high eyebrow elevations. Basically, anything going up and elevating is very open and comforting. Anything that is compressing: lip compression, eyebrow compression,where you’re squishing down, that’s conveying stress.”
7) How To Deal With Someone You Don’t Trust
The name of this blog is not “Helpful Tools For Sociopaths.” I’m not trying to teach you to manipulate others.
But what should do you do when you feel someone is using these methods to try and manipulate you?