Wednesday, August 26, 2015

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less by Nicholas Boothman (Book Review #67 of 2015)

How to Make People Like You in 90 Seconds or Less
Boothman describes best practices for interpersonal communication skills and first impressions. These may seem like common sense but for most people they will require some level of conscious effort and practice. While useful for all, I would recommend this book to someone with Asperger's who struggles with social thinking and reading body language. For a more detailed treatment on various aspects, read Dale Carnegie's classic How to Win Friends and Influence People (my review). But Boothman delves into aspects of reading others' body language that Carnegie does not.

We are subconsciously attracted to people who we perceive to have similar traits as us, who move like us. "I like him" really means "I AM like him." So, subtle synchronization with the opposite party's movements and habits creates a hook, subconsciously recognizing that you are like them will help them be more endearing. Synchronizing the other's attitude may also help, if they're mad show empathy by being mad, etc.

Attitude matters most and should be your starting point. The author uses the acronym of KFC: Know what you want, Find out what you're getting, Change what you do until you get what you want. Let your attitude be a demonstration of what you want, if you want someone to like you do what it takes to achieve that. If you want to get the job, show you care about it. Most people express what they DON'T want-- they don't want their boss to yell at them, or a co-worker to annoy them, etc. Instead, express what you want-- do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

When speaking, keep your body open to the other person, as if you're exposing your heart. Closed body indicates a fight-or-flight posture and is a put-off. Maintain this posture and the right attitude even with people you don't want to deal with, he gives some advice on dealing with people we'd rather not. Engage in active listening and respond to compliments with "thank you" and a smile; do not engage in self deprecating remarks like "it was nothing," or "no problem."

Another key is understanding that people have different sensory preferences-- they are visual, auditory, or feeling learners, that's how they remember things and that's how they communicate. Boothman determine's people's style by observing their eyes when he asks a question. People who look to their left are probably visual thinkings, looking down indicates a feeler, and looking up indicates an auditory thinker. That reaction helps him determine what gestures to use in communication.

Apparently Boothman speaks to audiences with his techniques, including high schoolers eager to fit in and find jobs. He does give a few exercises to help drive home his point about attitude, handshake, etc. Definitely something to be more conscious about. Short, probably could have been shorter. 3 stars out of 5.

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