Q&A with Likability & Leadership Expert Michelle Tillis Lederman

It’s not everyday that you can get professional advice from a leading leadership and communication expert who has worked with companies like Citi Bank, JP Morgan, AIG, Deutsche Bank, Ernst & Young and other Fortune 500 companies. Well, today you’re in for a treat.

I was connected to Michelle Tillis Lederman by a wonderful mentor of mine. Because I’ve spent the time to establish and cultivate a network by adding value, I get connected to amazing people like Michelle. This is why networking is important, which we’ll talk about in the interview below.

Michelle is a best selling author of two books (11 Laws of Likability and Nail the Interview), a keynote speaker, executive trainer, professional coach and founder of Executive Essentials.

Today I’m asking her 5 questions about likability, building your career, how to turn acquaintances into friends and how to make your voice heard in the workplace.

Before we jump into the Q&A with tons of action items, I want to mention that Michelle is working on research and a new book to help people like you! Because of that, she wants to hear from you. So if you have a few minutes, help her out by filling out her survey.

Question #1: What’s the #1 thing that an introvert can do to become more likable?

My gut response is “be themselves” but I get how unsatisfying that answer is. The gut is about embracing their authenticity and not apologizing for it. I don’t believe introverts need to try to be extroverts to be likable.

Instead, they need to leverage their natural strengths with connecting such as listening, asking genuine questions and giving their attention to one person at a time.

A few tweaks that can help are:

  1. Self-disclosure- Be willing to share a little about the topic at hand as well. Self disclosure goes a long way to building connection and trust.
  2. Let others know what you are thinking- An expressionless face can make your conversation partner uncomfortable since there is no information being conveyed through your facial expression. A head tilt, nod, or a simple, “interesting” comment go a long way to put the other person at ease.
  3. Follow up- This goes for everyone really. Don’t assume you have nothing to say or offer. Just send that next communication even if there is little more to say than “nice meeting you.”

[Katrina’s two cents: Facial expressions are a wonderful tip, show that you’re actively listening by showing some emotion in your face. You can furrow your eyebrows when there’s something concerning and smile when there’s something funny or entertaining.]

Question #2: What’s the biggest mistake you see people making when networking?

It shouldn’t be work! I also feel it shouldn’t be overly strategic. Networking only when you have a specific goal in mind may undermine the potential of lasting connections. Build relationships that you enjoy being a part of. Worry less about what you can get out of it.

[Katrina’s two cents: I love this approach. Networking is all about providing value and helping others upfront, without any expectations. You should always be networking. You should be connecting and learning about others and understanding what their goals are so you can help them. Trust me, this approach has taken me a long way. That’s how I got to connect with someone as knowledgeable as Michelle!]

Question #3: What’s the secret to turning an acquaintance into a mentor or lifelong friend?

There is no secret.

Truth is, everyone already knows how and has done this. Think about what worked for you. It may be different for everyone but the drivers are the same, these are the laws of likability I explain in my book The 11 Laws of Likability.  The similarities you find in someone else, the familiarity of having them reappear frequently in your life, the authenticity of your interactions with them, the tangible and intangible value you bring each other… these are the drivers of likability.

[Katrina’s two cents: Finding common ground is a great way to increase likability. Remember, people like people like themselves.]

Question #4: When we spoke for the first time, I felt like I had known you forever and this is something many of your clients say as well. What’s your secret?

I live the laws. I leverage my natural curiosity to learn about the other person. What inevitably happens is I connect the dots to something we both relate to, someone we both know, an idea we both value and I don’t shy away from it, I embrace it. I am excited by it. I take the risk and share and that makes someone feel trusted and comfortable. I am so glad you felt that way 🙂

[Katrina’s two cents: Again, notice how Michelle finds some common ground. Our conversation was so fun, organic and natural and it was the first time we had ever met! If you’re looking to up your likability, check out this post about Ben Franklin and his social hacks.]

Question #5: If I’m an introvert who feels like I’ve been passed up for promotions like salary or promotion, what’s one step I can take to make a change in the right direction?

Build different types of relationships: People need champions, cheerleaders, mentors, followers, sounding boards and confidants in and out of an organization.

For the introvert, champions are one of the most critical relationships you can build. Introverts are best at one-on-one relationships. Finding a champion that has a voice in the organization can ensure there is someone speaking on your behalf.

You want someone who:

  1. you connect with, you respect and respects you and sees your value
  2. has influence and a voice in the organization, someone who is at the table during the promotion and bonus discussions and
  3. is effective at using their voice and will speak up on your behalf.

The second most important relationship to build is a mentor: you increase your likelihood of promotion if you are in an active mentor relationship. Much of the same criteria applies.

The difference in a mentor is that it is someone who understands the work, the career trajectory and the office politics. They are helping you learn, grow and navigate. They are not necessarily in the room to speak for you.

The key is to build and nurture these and many relationships. The more people who are aware of you, the stronger your positioning will be.

[Katrina’s two cents: Michelle is spot-on. Know what works well for you. If you’re an introvert, 1-1 relationships work the best and aligning yourself strategically with the right person in your organization can make or break your career.

Again, notice how Michelle touches on “nurturing” these relationships. It’s not a one-way street, you have to spend the time, invest in getting to know someone and you also have to reciprocate and add value when you can. Show them that you deserve the guidance and mentorship that you’re seeking.]

Read More

Scared of Public Speaking? How to Kill Anxiety & Speak like a Pro

from-presentation-to-standing-ovation-ebook-coverSpeaking in front of audiences can be extremely nerve wracking. You may be in front of a screen or behind a podium with people in front of you, yet is can feel so lonely. Your palms may be sweating, thoughts in your head are racing and you feel like a nervous reck. Well, not to fear. I’ve interviewed Ron Tsang, author and public speaking expert to help you perform your best when it comes to public speaking.

Ron is an acclaimed keynote speaker himself, has a best-selling book on Amazon.ca called “From Presentation to Standing Ovation” and consults for corporate clients when it comes to effective communication. In our interview he shares how perfectionists should get over performing perfectly, his scariest public speaking moment and how to break the ice with smaller groups of people.

 

Katrina: You recommend a few different ways to beat anxiety before public speaking (i.e. playlists, physical movement, visualization) what’s your personal favorite and why?

Ron: Robin Williams used to do jumping jacks before going on stage at comedy clubs. If I feel the need to shake off my nerves and boost my energy before I speak, I love to do jumping jacks, too!

Research shows that one of the best ways to overcome your anxiety is to become excited! [1] And jumping jacks get your endorphins pumping without working up a sweat.

 

Katrina: You talk a lot about the importance of “investing” into yourself. Why should people  work on their public speaking skills?

Ron: When I was an MBA student, I met billionaire Warren Buffett in Omaha, Nebraska. When asked what his best investment was, he said that it was “investing in himself” — especially in developing his public speaking skills.

Warren Buffett studied at Wharton and Columbia, but he doesn’t hang up those degrees on his wall. Instead, he only displays his certificate from a public speaking course, and he says that it was the best education he ever received!

Many employers agree. In a recent survey, 88% of IT professionals said that they need to be effective business communicators in the future in order to be successful. [2] And according to a recent survey from Oxford Economics, the skills that employers will need the most in the next 5 to 10 years are strong interpersonal and communication skills. [3] 

 

Katrina: How important is it to buy into the idea of the message you’re speaking about?

Ron: It’s often said that “the first sale is always to yourself.” If you’re not convinced by an idea or message in your presentation, how can you expect to convince others?

Audiences subconsciously pay attention to the tone of your voice and to your body language, and they tend to notice if you don’t believe what you’re saying.

 

Katrina: You talk about being excellent rather than perfect, which I totally agree with. But it’s much easier said than done. Two questions here- Why do you preach that approach and how can Type A people get over perfection?

Ron: Perfectionists often suffer from paralysis by analysis. If you’re too afraid of making mistakes or of not “getting it right,” you may never take action! Stop waiting to give a perfect presentation! You have amazing career opportunities if you deliver excellent presentations to clients, management, and colleagues — even if they’re far from perfect.

If you’re a Type A type who’s having a hard time letting go of your perfectionism, focus on continuous improvement, instead. Learn to concentrate on “merely” making your next presentation better than your previous ones, instead of obsessing with perfection. Adopt the mindset of a student, get a coach — and focus on the journey, not the destination.

 

Katrina: What was the scariest speaking moment you’ve ever faced and why?

Ron: There were two speaking moments that turned me into a nervous wreck.

I was asked to be my university roommate’s best man and deliver a speech at the wedding reception near Toronto, Canada.

The bride is French-Canadian and the groom is Chinese, so it seemed appropriate for me to send inspirational wishes in English, Cantonese, and French. I can speak English. But my Cantonese is feeble and my French is even worse!

But I’ve never spoken in Cantonese, let alone in French, in front of 100 people before. And the speech in my head sounded so trite, especially after being deeply moved by a sincere and heartfelt speech from the maid of honor. I didn’t like what what I was going to say.

I turned to the wedding emcee for advice. He said: “Just keep it simple and speak from the heart.”

With minutes left to prepare, I rebooted my speech and started from scratch. I was terrified of embarrassing myself and being criticized by two different cultures. Had I bitten off more than I could chew?

But it was time. I walked onto the stage, picked up the microphone. I spoke briefly but passionately, and recited a few memorized lines in Cantonese and French.

Afterwards, attendees came up to me and said that it was one of the best wedding speeches they had ever heard!

Nailed it.

My second scariest speaking moment came shortly after, when I was asked to emcee my cousin’s wedding near Anaheim, California — in English, Cantonese, and Korean!

 

Katrina: You talk about making a good first impression or starting off with an interesting statement before going into a speech. How can you apply that strategy when it comes to group conversations with a “smaller” audience?

Ron: When making small talk or participating in a group conversation, you can transition into a new conversation thread the way you might start a speech, and then follow up with an anecdote, story or other supporting evidence.

For example, you can begin by asking a provocative question, such as: “Did you know that during the Cold War, the CIA tried to spy on the Russians using cats?” Then pause and elaborate.

Or you could reference a shared moment: “Remember that one time, at band camp?” Then describe what happened.

You could also revisit something that was mentioned earlier: “Stephen Colbert was right — Elon Musk IS a super-villain.” Then elaborate.

 

Katrina: What’s a quick and easy tip that someone who has to make a public speech tomorrow can use that will give them a huge leg up?

Ron: Do your due diligence before you speak and focus on the needs of your audience.

Why should they listen to you? What’s in it for them?

What does your audience want to hear? What don’t they want to hear? What are their expectations, and how can you meet or even exceed them?

 

Katrina: You talk about the importance of being likable and trustworthy when relaying your message? Why is this so important?

Ron: Most of us prefer to work with, and do business with, people whom we like and trust. But for many of us, when we speak our body language may inadvertently signal to others that we’re uninterested and untrustworthy.

Your audience won’t know what you think or how you feel, unless you say it or show them. And no matter how valuable your message is, your audience won’t believe you if your words don’t match the tone of your voice, the expression of your face, and what you do with your body. So if you really are likeable and trustworthy, make sure that your nonverbal communication sends the message that you want to convey!

 

Katrina: You talk about the power of the word “you.” Why is focusing on the audience and them rather than on yourself more important when it comes to public speaking?

Ron: Effective speakers understand that their presentations are not just about them — so don’t bore your audience by droning on and on about yourself. Make sure that your audience doesn’t feel left out!

You become more valuable as a speaker if you relate to your audience’s problems, goals, and dreams — and if you help them out. And you’ll be more engaging to your audience when you use more of the words “you” and “we,” instead of “I” and “me.”

Interested in learning more about improving your public speaking? Check out Ron’s book here!

Read More

The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***

Book coverYou’re in for a treat today. I had the pleasure of interviewing Mark Manson, the author of the recently released book The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck.

I’ve been following Mark for a while his writings are insightful, wise and unique. I was stoked when he agreed to take the time to be interviewed. For those unfamiliar with his work, Mark is a crazy prolific writer and covers things like habit building, personal development and communication. We talked about his experience with social anxiety, productivity, dating, habits and of course….how to not give a fuck!

Question #1: Your article about not giving a fuck really resonated with me. For people who deal with social anxiety or hangups, what’s one tactic they can use to remind themselves to not give a fuck about how they’re perceived?

A big component of overcoming anxiety is finding something more important than oneself to give a fuck about.

Think about it this way, you may be nervous about entering a roomful of people and being social.

But imagine if your mom had cancer and her life depended on you talking to 10 people. You’d make it happen and the truth is, you would probably stop being nervous because suddenly these people’s perceptions of you and any tiny flaws you have would become so unimportant when compared to the massive importance of your mother’s life.

So essentially stuff like this comes down to priorities. And that’s really what The Subtle Art is all about: priorities and vales and what we choose to find important.

Question #2: You say that we should be vigilant about where and how our fucks are given to. What are a few principles to identify if something/someone is worth giving a fuck about?

I propose in the book that generally, giving a fuck about one’s own emotions and feeling good all the time is a road to self-sabotage and disappointment. The key is to find things that are outside of oneself and things that are more important than oneself to give a fuck about.

For instance, a lot of people (myself included) have often suffered from “writer’s block” where they freak out and obsess and agonize over every word and never publish anything. In my experience, this is because our fucks are misallocated. We’re too caught in being seen as smart or writing something amazing or beautiful or popular.

Writing

What has to matter more is the message of what’s being written. Put another way, the way I’ve found to defeat writer’s block is to ask myself, “What needs to be written so badly that my feelings and my embarrassment and whatever criticism comes towards me, none of it matters?” Once I find that topic, everything becomes much easier.

Question #3: It sounds like you got your start in the dating space, for those who feel nervous about socializing, what’s one simple strategy they can use that would improve their dating life?

I have a strategy called “Fuck Yes or No” that people tend to love. It’s the idea that if you’re not ever saying, “Fuck Yes!” about someone you’re with, then you shouldn’t be with them. The vast majority of relationship problems stem from people settling and falling into a grey area where they tolerate a relationship they’re not excited to be in.

Question #4: What’s the #1 small tweak you’ve made in your life that has resulted in massive success?

Something I call “The Do Something Principle.”

The idea is that action isn’t the result of motivation but rather motivation is the result of action.

If I’m having trouble being motivated to do something or finding something I’m passionate or excited about, or just plain procrastinating, I fall back on simply doing something — anything, really — and I find that the necessary inspiration will then flow from that first action.

Question #5: A recurrinFearg theme in your writing is to just “be” (i.e. stop trying to be rich, happy, perfect, etc). For people who want to be better at social skills but convince themselves they have to be “someone they’re not,” what would you advise them?

The biggest thing that helped my social anxiety was when I realized that pretty much everyone is self-conscious and anxious in the exact same situations that I was. I think people with social anxiety tend to create a fantasy in their head where everyone around them is this confident bad ass person and they’re not — when, in fact, the truth is that everyone feels the same nerves and awkwardness around people they don’t know — it’s just most people don’t judge themselves for it. That’s the real culprit: the judging.

Question #6: What is the #1 habit we should ALL be doing everyday?

Questioning our own beliefs.

Constantly ask yourself, “What if I was wrong about this?” and play with the answer.

What would it mean to be wrong? What would it mean if the opposite were true? Just ask yourself and see where it leads, you’ll often surprise yourself.

Question #7: Tell us more about how your book went from blog post to book…

I actually started the book before I wrote the article, but the article was such a huge hit that I adapted its themes and tone into the book. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck (the book) is, like I said, essentially about values and how we all choose to find certain things important, and how that affects everything else in our life. The book is about learning how to make that choice, of deciding what really matters in life and what doesn’t, and improving yourself based not on feeling good all the time, but rather adopting problems and struggles in your life that you’re glad and proud to have.

If you enjoyed this interview, then you’d probably love Mark’s new book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***. You can buy it here.

Read More

The Science Behind Donald Trump’s Body Language (& 8 tips you can steal from him to up your charisma, likeability and confidence)

Regardless of how you feel about Trump and his funny looking hair, one thing I have to admit is that he has body language down.

The man knows what he’s doing. He knows how to make opponents look silly, how to communicate with the audience (even when he’s not speaking) and how to influence the audience’s emotions with one simple look.

Today I want to share 8 body language strategies Donald Trump uses and how you can use them to get people to like you, up your charisma and improve your confidence.

Donald Trump Body Language Cue #1: Using Obvious Facial Expressions

It won’t take more than a quick YouTube search to reveal that Donald over exaggerates his facial expressions to illustrate his emotions. Check out this picture of Donald Trump’s facial expression as his opponent, Jeb Bush, is speaking.

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 8.18.16 PM

Talk about actions speaking louder than words!

Although Jeb is speaking, you can’t help but focus your attention on the dumbfounded look on Donald Trump’s face. And when you see Trump make that face, the same feelings of confusion are triggered thanks to mirror neurons!

Mirror neurons are a relatively new discovery in neuroscience, but they’re super helpful when it comes to affecting how others feel when they are around you. They’re essentially a way to make someone else feel certain emotions by simply looking at you. For example, if you look over at me and I’m smiling, you will feel happiness and other emotions associated with smiling.

This was originally discovered in an Italian lab when they noticed motor parts of a monkey’s brain being activated by simply watching a human move around (while the monkey was standing still). The neuroscientists learned that your brain perceives observing someone else doing something as actually doing it yourself!

Your facial expressions also affect your inner-psychology.

In a famous study by Martin and Stepper, subjects were asked to keep a pencil in their mouths (to simulate a smile) while reading comic books. The control group was given the same comics without any instruction at all. Those who had mimicked a smile were more likely to find the comic books humorous than the control group. This experiment showed the influence that facial expressions have on your inner-psychology.

When Donald is using facial expressions to express himself, he’s killing three birds with one stone.

First, he’s able to show other people how he feels (without speaking), which is extremely powerful when it’s not his turn to speak during debates. Secondly, when the audience focuses on his reaction, Donald influences the emotions they’re feeling thanks to mirror neurons.

Finally, his facial expressions are influencing his inner emotions making him feel more confident when he laughs at his opponents or happier when he smiles.

So how can you use these principles to have engaging conversations?

Tip #1: Mirror facial expressions to increase charisma

You can mirror facial expressions to show the other person that you’re listening and empathizing. These non-verbal forms of communication can increase your charisma and presence significantly.

In a study by Chartrand and Bargh, researchers interviewed subjects one-on-one while mimicking their body language and posture as they spoke. The group that was mimicked rated their interviewers as more likeable and rated having “smoother” conversations with them compared to the group that was not mimicked.

Use this to your advantage!

Screen Shot 2016-04-03 at 8.28.39 PM

For example, if someone is telling a sad story they’re likely frowning or furrowing their eyebrows in a sad state of emotions. You can mimic those facial expressions to show your concern for what they’re saying. You can also furrow your eyebrows while locking eyes with them to show that you’re feeling the same emotions they’re feeling. It works like a charm and it will get people to like you.

 

(more…)

Read More

The #1 Mistake You’re Making When it Comes to your Career

Over the course of life, the average American works for over 10 years.

Crazy right?

That’s based on a 40-hour work week, but nowadays with smartphones and technology we’re probably clocking closer to 50 or 60 hours per week which would make that number even bigger!

For many of us, work is an important part of our lives. It defines us in a weird way.

When people ask “what do you do” or “tell me about yourself” one of the first things we do is tell them what we do professionally.

As 2016 approaches, I want to help you take your career to the next level.

I want to share an article (and video based on the article, below) of a recent guest post I published. In it I talk about:

  • The #1 biggest mistake you’re making when it comes to advancing your career
  • 5 actionable ways to fix this problem ASAP
  • What Steve Jobs did that played a vital part of his success, that you can also do
  • A video of my friend Antonio where he shares his lessons learned from the military, life and career to become a successful online entrepreneur

 

 

What’s one tip you’re going to use? Share in the comments below!

Read More

How to make someone you’re talking to feel as good as they do while having sex

It's simple, ask them about themselves.

People LOVE talking about themselves.

Brain imaging from a 2012 Harvard study showed that the pleasure centers of people's brains were activated during "self-disclosure" aka talking about their experiences. These are the same pleasure centers that are activated during sex or other "rewards" such as sugar or drugs.

Those who were allowed to share thoughts, versus those who were told to think to themselves, showed even greater reward activity in their brain.

In fact people love talking about themselves so much that subjects in the study were even willing to give up money to do so!

What does this mean for you?

Well if you find it difficult to keep a convo flowing, the short answer is that you can simply ask people questions to keep it going. The other benefit that you get out of it is that people will love talking to you.

Remember people won't always remember what was said in a conversation, but they will definitely remember how they felt when they were conversing with you.

Brain scans showing the pleasure center of the brain activated during self-disclosure

​Source: http://www.pnas.org/content/109/21/8038.full

How do you Ask the Right Questions?

When asking people questions, ask open-ended questions rather than "yes or no" questions. A great hack is to "observe" something and then ask about it. 

For example:

Q: I see you chose the red wine tonight. Why do you prefer red over white?

Rather than....

Q: Do you like to eat cheese with your wine? (Yes or no question)

A: Yes (duh!!)

OR

Q: That's a really nice jacket, what's the story behind it?

A: Oh I actually got it while I was backpacking in Europe, I bought it from this tiny store...

Rather than...

Q: That's a nice jacket. Does it keep you warm?

A: Thanks, yes it does.

**Cue awkward silence**

So the next time you're at a social event, make some friends by asking open-ended questions. You can couple it with the "Yes and Technique" that you learned yesterday to strike the right balance of talking and listening during conversations.

Tired of the same generic advice you get on social skills?

So am I. I'm scared of hearing "fake it til you make it" or "just go for it." What the heck does that even mean!?

That's why I built a comprehensive, 8-week course of crushing your social hangups and becoming socially confident. You will learn how to have natural conversations, how to kill negative self-talk and how to turn acquaintances into deep friendships.

Former "Quiet Guy" to Knowing Everyone in the Room!

"I used to struggle with having conversations...they just didn't feel right and I never felt confident. I used to simply avoid them which was really frustrating. Now that I've completed the course I speak up at work, feel confident about social situations and talk more-- I'm no longer the "quiet guy!" The other day at a social event my friend said 'it looked like I knew everyone there!' I didn't. No one would EVER day something like that to me before. Katrina helped me connects with people, deepen relationships and feel more confident."

Kah G. 
Software Engineer | Perth, Australia

Read More

How to Have Unforgettable Conversations

Do you ever get into a brief conversation where you finally figure out what you're going to say next but then....you never end up saying anything? You end up simply listening, nodding your head and agreeing with the other person who's leading the conversation.

It can be annoying.

Maybe the thing you have to say is something about yourself, but you hesitate because you don't know how to share it and don't wanna come across as arrogant or self-absorbed.

Today I want to share a technique that you can use to build rapport with others by opening up about yourself in a genuine way.​

The "Yes and Technique"

A natural and easy way to sprinkle in things about yourself is by using the “Yes and Technique" when someone asks you a question.

  • The "yes" part simply answers the question. In some cases it may be "no" (depending on the question)
  • The "and" part goes into a bit of depth and turns your answer into more of a story

Here are two examples:


Katrina: Do you enjoy red wine?

You: Yes I am [Yes]. And [and...] I actually just went to Napa Valley this summer because I love wine and the winemaking process so much. It was beautiful there, rolling hills, huge estates we had a blast. Are you a red wine fan?

Katrina: Yes, I absolutely love red wine [Yes]. In fact, [and…] most of my Fridays at work are spent dreaming about the bottle I'm going to open that night (Ok, I’d never say that. But it’s true!)

See how both examples turned a “yes or no” question into something way more fascinating by adding a few details?


Using this strategy will make you more memorable.


Why?


Because people don't remember if you happened to stumble through a few words or stuttered a bit...what they remember are stories.

By adding a short story you become way more memorable. So use this strategy during your next conversation to build rapport and charisma (or if you're sick of listening to someone talk the whole time).

Stay tuned, in the next post I'll share a conversation strategy to make talking to you feel as good as having sex....seriously. Oh and it will also keep the convo flowing 🙂

For now, go take action and apply this strategy. When you're done, share your results in the comments below!

Read More

Case Study: How Tatum went from Socially Anxious to Rocking the Sh** out of Conversations

Imagine struggling with social anxiety and awkwardness on a personal level, while being an entrepreneur who has to pitch yourself and your business for a living.

Now imagine that within a few weeks you transformed your social skills and perspective, so much so that you could "rock the shit out of conversations."  

That's exactly what Tatum, a former student, and self-described introvert in her mid-20's faced. Today I want to share her story.

Tatum knew that she had to improve her social skills...


I need a lot of help with improving my social skills to pitch myself and my company. It’s nerve wracking and it gives me anxiety attacks when I try to do it. 

I also want to improve my conversations and communication with people in my everyday life."

Tatum struggled to be her true self in conversations without making other people feel uncomfortable.

Continue Reading

Read More

Conversation

Why Feeling Left Out Leads to Eating Chocolate Chip Cookies

Socializing has such a huge impact on our lives. There are the obvious ones like:

  • Feeling connected and in “in groups” helps stave off depression, sickness and increasing our life spans
  • Being connected to important and exclusive information can help us when it comes to improving our careers, business and career advancement
  • Being comfortable socializing helps us make new friends, romantic connections and build a social circle of people who support and love us

But there are also the less obvious ones like:

  • How feeling left out can lower your self-control
  • How feeling left out can lower your willpower and lead to eating more
  • How feeling left out can make you less likely to help others
  • How socializing can affect your willpower

In a guest post I published for Willpowered, I shared 8 tips that you must know before your next social event.

Click here to learn the 8 willpower tips you must know before your next social event.

 

I’ll share:

  • How to pay more attention in conversations you’re having
  • How to appear more charismatic to people you just met
  • How to boost your confidence instantly
  • How to excuse yourself from conversations you don’t like
  • The link between feeling left out and gorging on chocolate chip cookies

Read More

Ben Franklin’s Best Social Skill Hacks (and how to do them)

It always helps to learn from the best. If you want to achieve something spectacular, wouldn’t you want to emulate the best? Enter Ben Franklin, one of the most influential men in history.

Ben Franklin Meme

Ben Franklin was a “G” in his day. He was an entrepreneur, inventor, businessman, politician, and his adept social skills helped America gain independence from the British.

Today I want to share three social skill hacks that Ben Franklin used to go from a poor family of 17 kids to one of the most legendary Renaissance men that ever lived.

1. Ben Franklin worked on being likable

Ben Franklin was known for his social prowess. He knew how to make friends out of enemies and like any great politician, how to persuade people to his side of an argument. But this didn’t come naturally to him, it was something he systematically worked on.

In his autobiography, Franklin shares that a friend of his gave him some invaluable feedback. His friend basically told him he was cocky, “overbearing” and “insolent” were the exact words. Did Ben get defensive?

Not one bit. Instead, he iterated and improved.

Ben Franklin was your modern-day productivity nut. He came up with 12 virtues that he wanted to live by and practiced them weekly, he kept a journal to track each virtue he was working on along with any actions that were not in accordance.  It was upon this feedback that Franklin added a thirteenth virtue, humility.

One of the ways he worked on his humility was by changing his everyday language.

He said, “I even forbid myself…the use of every word or expression in the language that imported a fixed opinion, such as certainly, undoubtedly…and I adopted, instead of them, I conceive, I apprehend it, I imagine a thing to be so…”

He realized that people don’t like getting interrupted, proven wrong, or talked down to so he made the necessary adjustments and it paid off.  His conversations became more pleasant, he found it easier to persuade people and he even mentions that it made up for his lack of public speaking skills.

Another helpful nugget we can take away from Ben Franklin is the Ben Franklin Effect. Franklin had a nemesis, a politician that tried to tarnish his image publicly. Rather than taking revenge, Franklin used a counter-intuitive approach. He simply asked this man for a favor. He was a pretty influential person in the community, someone Franklin knew would be beneficial to be on good terms with. He possessed a rare book that Franklin wanted to borrow, so he simply asked him for it.

The enemy obliged and lent the book to Franklin. After reading the book Franklin promptly returned it with a “thank you” note. Immediately following this transaction, the man approached Franklin for the first time ever, they spoke and became friends for a lifetime!

Franklin understood the psychological phenomena that humans have, we like to act in accordance with our beliefs. Franklin was able to take advantage of this and created cognitive dissonance for his nemesis. The rival had to rationalize his behavior of lending the book against his opinion of not liking him. He had to “believe” that Franklin was likable enough to share the book with. You wouldn’t lend a book to someone you don’t like right? After convincing himself that Franklin must be a good enough guy, they became fast friends.

(more…)

Read More