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(6) Pearls of Life

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Be the Kind of Person People Want to Say Yes To

Most of the things we want in life require other people’s cooperation. Whether you

want your partner to lend support, your dad to get off your back, or your boss to give you

a career boost of some kind, achieving your goals, dreams, and ambitions needs someone else to say yes. And this is where some people have a built-in advantage. People just want to say yes to them. There’s something about the way they come across that inspires warmth and friendly support. What a skill to have! And it is a skill-not an innate talent

you either have or you don’t, but a skill that anyone can learn.

The guidelines that follow tell you the strategies I have observed over the years that help people to get a positive response. And what’s more, not only do they help you achieve your aim, they also make you enjoyable to be around and help you to get more pleasure out of life and out of other people. They are an end in themselves, as well as helping you to reach your goal.

Don’t Fake It-Have Real Confidence

Oh yeah, and how exactly are you supposed to do that? If you’re shy or anxious, it’s all

very well saying, “Be confident!” but that’s not how real life works is it? You can’t just turn it on. So why even bother telling you to make it real?

Hang on a minute and hear me out. Confidence is all about knowing what you’re doing. So it stands to reason that the better you know your “script” the more confidence-genuine confidence-you will feel. You just need to think through what you’re doing and be clear about it. Suppose you’re one of those people who hates the whole “do I or don’t I” thing when it comes to handshakes. What if you don’t know whether to offer a hand? Hang on, who put the other person in charge of the script? You just have to decide that you’re doing the handshake regardless, and then as soon as you greet the other person you firmly put out a hand with a broad smile. See? You just wrote the script, and you know exactly what’s in it. And you come across as being confident. So you win all around.

If you know you find meeting and greeting hard, just have a script ready and planned before you get there. Practice in a mirror. Rehearse the moment in your head-play it through as if you are watching it happen. Decide whether you’ll shake hands, and have a few lines of greeting ready or a couple of questions prepared to get a conversation going. You might not feel confident about absolutely everything, but you will feel confident about those crucial first 10 minutes.

It may feel like you’re going through the motions slightly the first couple of times you do this, but believe me it will quickly become a habit, and the confidence soon will be as real as it looks.

Sound Confident

Confidence sells. It sells you. If you’re confident other people will feel they can trust you to do what you say you can; they’ll be inspired to rely on you. Suppose you want to win a tricky pitch at work. If you go in mumbling and looking at your shoes, you’ve given yourself a far harder job than if you start off smiling and speaking clearly. Especially if your competitor is slick and self-confident. It’s the same with your boss and your colleagues.

Come across as shy and unsure of yourself and they won’t be too sure of you either. Confidence is contagious. If you have it, others will feel confident in you.

The way you talk is a huge part of your persona, so here are some quick guidelines for sounding more confident:

● Speak clearly without mumbling or speaking too softly.

● Decide in advance how you’re going to express yourself, so you know what you’re doing when the time comes.

● Practice any tricky conversations in advance, with a friend or in front of a mirror.

● Use positive language: not “I think I should be able to,” but “Yes, I can do that.”

And remember, after you’re in any kind of meeting, you should be thinking about the person you’re with, not about yourself. So at the first sign of selfconsciousness,

give yourself a swift talking to and remind yourself to focus on your companion.

Look Confident

Good, you’re sounding confident and greeting people with a firm handshake or whatever you’ve decided is appropriate. Now then...you need to make sure that your body language matches your confident voice.

I know you don’t want to be worrying about body language while you’re trying to cope with a nervewracking or important meeting. So make it a habit straight away for every encounter. That way you won’t have to think about it after the first couple of weeks, and it will become second nature. People don’t say yes to shy, uncertain looking people who seem to be coming across a bit less diffidently this time. They say yes to people whom they think of as being consistently capable and sure of them.

Look, the aim is to become someone who always behaves in a confident manner. That way, any time you need anything from anyone, they’ll see you in the best light before you’ve even had to ask. So make eye contact, look interested, and adopt an open and relaxed posture. This isn’t difficult-arms by your sides or in your lap, not tightly folded or hands blocking your face. Sit back in your chair and don’t perch nervously on the edge of it-that sort of thing.

Study other people to see who seems relaxed and confident and who doesn’t-and why.

So now you’re confident, you’re friendly, you’re self-assured, you’re warm…how could anyone say no to you?

 

 

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