When you’re trying to get someone to like you, you obviously have to give yourself a likable image. The best way to do this is through how you use your conversation skills.
Humans have specific communication channels that we send out messages with. It breaks down like this, 55% of what we respond to takes place visually through body language. 38% of what we respond to is the voice tone and the sound of communication. 7% of what we respond to involves the actual words we use.
You have to make sure your words, tonality and your gestures are all saying the same thing without trying too hard. Over eagerness is a complete turn off. Don’t smile too hard, don’t try to be too witty, don’t be over polite and avoid the temptation to be patronizing.
Conversation is how we open people up to see what’s inside. However, there are questions that open people up, and there are some that shut them down on you. You need to determine which is which.
There are two types of questions. Open and closed. Open questions request an explanation and require the other person to do the talking. Open questions start with Who? What? When? Where? and Why? Closed questions get a yes or no response like Are you? Do you? and Have you? The problem with closed questions is once you are given the answer, you are back where you started, trying to keep conversation going. Best thing to do is to completely avoid the closed questions. If they can easily answer yes or no, then don’t ask it.
It’s a good idea to precede an open question with a statement like, “What an elegant room. Where do you think those vases come from”? or “This is a great party. How did you wind up here”? The very fact that your question is open guarantees you a quick and friendly conversation.
I want you for one whole day do nothing but ask questions and answer questions with a question. Ask only open questions. You will pick it up like a natural by the end of the day!
You have to also be a good listener. As a good listener, you demonstrate that you are truly interested in the other person. The key is making a sincere effort to absorb what that other person is saying and feeling. Listening is different from hearing. You may hear a flute as part of an orchestra but when you actively listen to the same flute, your consciously focused on every note and absorbing the emotion. Get inside what the other person is saying and give feedback. Feedback ranges from sighs and grunts, to words like “Oh” and “Wow” or “Hmm” all the way to full blown reactions like “Oh really”, “And then what” and “Your not serious” Any kind of encouragement is welcome in conversation. It keeps the ball rolling and shows that your listening. Physical feedback is also important. Giving a nod of the head in agreement and using plenty of eye contact gives the impression of participation in the conversation.
All conversation is about painting word pictures of your experiences for other people. The more vivid you paint these experiences, the more interesting people will think you are. Here, I’ll show you what I mean.
“We stood in line for the show for 20 minutes and I was soaking wet”.
There is nothing here to engage the imagination. You need to make it colorful!
“It was amazing standing there in silence among all those people. The rain had just stopped and my clothes were wet. The lights of the buildings were shining in the puddles, and all you could smell was the hot dogs from the vendors”.
See! Imagination! Being colorful helps to bring people closer.