Maya Angelou famously said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” The way you communicate sparks a deep seeded feeling inside of the person on the other side of the conversation. Getting that person to like you requires you to make him feel something positive. Here are four ways to improve your communication style and become more likeable.
1. Square Up Your Body
Your body language sends subtle cues about your interest in the conversation in front of you. For example, people tend to point their feet in the direction they want to go. If you’re pointing your feet toward the door and away from the person in front of you, you’re sending a signal that you’d rather get away from the conversation.
Square your body up in front of the person to demonstrate that you’re giving your undivided attention. Make sure your shoulders are in line with his shoulders, your feet are pointed directly at him, and you’re able to effortlessly look him in the eye as you have a conversation.
2. Listen With Intent
Have you ever had a conversation with someone who you knew wasn’t listening? Listening with intention is about listening without thinking of what you’re going to say next. By focusing on what the person in front of you is saying, rather than what you want to say, you’ll hear something different. When it eventually is your turn to reply, you’ll have a more genuine reaction. It’s that authenticity that makes you more relatable. When people feel heard around you, they’re more inclined to want to seek you out and talk to you time and time again.
3. Use the Word “You” More Often
Even in conversation, people are always thinking in the back of their minds, what’s in it for me? Why is that conversation worthy of their time? What will they gain by talking to you? The words you use must answer that consistently, so they feel like they’ve benefited. One of the best ways to convey a subtle message that your conversation is valuable is by using the word “you” more often.
When you direct the conversation at the person in front of you, he will automatically feel as though every statement is important to him. Instead of him feeling like he’s hearing a sales pitch or biography, he’ll understand why you’re telling specifically him what you’re saying. It’ll make your words more meaningful and you seem more valuable (and thus, likeable).
4. Check Your Gut Reaction
When the other person responds to you, how do you react to something you disagree with? Do you give them a look of doubt? Do you question their comments? Do you express your disagreement?
Part of being likeable is being humble. You will not agree with 100% of what someone has to say but you can be humble enough to take a moment to digest their point-of-view. Few alternate views go so far against your convictions that they warrant a gut response of disgust. By pausing to digest a differing view, you’ll be able to find more common ground and respond in a meaningful way instead of instantly causing the other person to put up his guard and defend his viewpoints.
Likability Isn’t About You
When it comes down to it, being likeable isn’t about you at all. It’s about the person in front of you. By showing your intention to get to know them, you’ll instantly open the door to a more impactful conversation, which will leave the person feeling good about the time he spent with you.
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