To achieve anything in life you need other people.
They are the gatekeepers of introductions, funding, opportunities, connections and access to the things you need.
When you need something the other person has, there are only a few ways to get it:
1) Gain Leverage: Some power over them that compels them to give you what you want
2) Make Them Like You: We’re more likely to give things to people we like
The good news is you don’t need to use option 1. Being manipulative to get what you want isn’t cool.
So how do you become more likeable? How do you become one of those people who things just open up for?
By cultivating that “magnetic abundance” – The effortless obtaining of the things you need. After closely studying some of the most successful people in the world up close and in person, here’s what I noticed.
These two words are so powerful.
When someone says something you are genuinely interested in, this invitation to elaborate lights people up like a Christmas tree pulled out of a dusty attic.
You’ll see their joy on their faces as they excitedly tell you more.
This works best if you’re asking them to talk more about something THEY find important and interesting.
I picked this up unconsciously from an old mentor of mine, Rajesh Nagjee. At first I didn’t even realise I was doing it. But something magical started to happen, people started to open up to me, to tell me things they usually wouldn’t, to give me things I needed that I hadn’t even asked for.
I realised those two words made people like and more importantly, trust me.
I think these words are so powerful because we rarely shine the spotlight of attention on other people. We live through the lens of ourselves, focusing most on what we need and want.
And remember this timeless piece of advice:
When we shift that focus to the other person and let them bask in the spotlight of attention, they bloom.
Try it in one conversation this week and watch the magic happen!
Why This Works
I looked to science to find an answer for why this works and discovered a Harvard study which revealed that when people talk about themselves, it lights up the brains reward centres in the same way as food, money and sex.
In the study they discovered the brain regions associated with motivation and reward were most active when participants were sharing information out loud (even without anyone listening!).
So letting people share their thoughts, feelings and opinions gives them a positive experience of your interaction, plus positive memories of it that live on in the future.
This works in business, relationships (Gents, we don’t listen as much as we should to our women, say these two magic words and watch what happens to your woman.)
It even helped me at the car rental desk – 2 minutes of small talk as my paperwork was being processed got me a BMW 2 Series even though I’d paid for a basic hatchback!
Try it today and see what happens.
Did you try it? Did it work?
Let me know in the comments below.