How to get along with anyone
Many people ask me what is my number 1 key to success and without hesitation I will always say, your ability to connect with people. At the end of the day business is done via people. Deals are negotiated between people. The journey towards the moon was done through people. It’s all about people.
Therefore, I decided to create an episode on the ability to get along with anyone. Please note, this is not about making everyone happy! That is people pleasing. Instead we are trying to find a connection with someone while still remaining authentic to our own value system. If you are required to change who you are to get along with someone, then it’s not worth it. No connection is worth you losing yourself.
So I have 4 ideas for you today;
- Remember and use often that persons name;
A persons name is the sweetest sounding word in their vocabulary and if you can remember it you will make an incredible impression. I know that a few weeks ago a person walked up to me and called me by name. At first I didn’t recognise them, but eventually after chatting I remembered he was a kid from a school where I had run some anti-bullying workshops 2 years ago. I was so impressed that he remembered my name that I took him out for lunch to see how he was doing. I felt special, important and loved. There was an instant connection.
- Mirror that persons communication style;
Mirroring is a concept taught in Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) and essentially it means that you should try copy the gestures made by the other person. For example, if the other person is comfortable with eye contact and stares at you the whole time, reply and share their gaze. If a person uses their hands to explain things, use your hands as well. If the person has an open, relaxed body language and speaks slowly, follow them and sit in the same way and talk slowly. This will give the person the impression that you are similar, than different and they will naturally open up to you more. After you have built some trust you can start to lead the communication and they will begin to follow your communication style. It’s very powerful.
- Ask questions about the person;
There are very few people in this world, if any, that are not comfortable to some extent on talking about themselves. It’s a topic that that person knows very well. Ask questions like;
- What are you interested in doing over the weekends?
- What are your hobbies?
- If you were a superhero, what super power would you have and why? – this is a great opener because it gets the person to think and share something deep and meaningful about themselves.
- Find commonality;
If the person you are speaking to loves sports, then talk about the sports you love too. If you both love soccer then talk about specific teams and how they have a rivalry. For example, I always find out if someone is a soccer fan. If they are, I ask them if they watch the English Football League. If they do, I begin with a bit of banter. I say, “Ok, now it’s the critical time to see if we are going to be best friends or worst enemies… which team do you support?” 9 times out to 10 people smile and tell me their team. I either support the same team and we hit it off brilliantly or they support a different team and we joke around about the bad decisions people make in life. It’s a win-win scenario. To connect is your ability to find common ground. If you can find common ground, you will very quickly build a relationship.
Lastly, always be respectful
Of both yourself and other people. Respect yourself enough to know what your values are and stick with them. If the person you are speaking to is being racist and that goes against your values then stand up to them. I would rather stand up to people and have few friends, than to please people and have no back bone. If they can’t respect your values, then it’s better to walk away. You will have to force a connection and it’s not worth it.
Also, if you see that something you have said has hurt the person (i.e. either their smile fades or their body language closes) then apologise and try understand what offended them. Even if your intentions are pure, just apologise and understand that each person is different with different values and that they have every right to feel that way. Respect won’t always win you a lot of friend, but it will win you the right people.
In order to be successful in today’s age, we have to refine our ability to relate and connect with people. Ultimately people make the world go round. Go on, keep learning, keep trying and keep on CHANGING THE GAME.
For more information, please go to www.laurensboel.com