Three easy ways to win people over
Being able to connect with others is an integral part of human relationships. And now that party season is upon us again, it’s the perfect time to brush up on your social skills.
Social unease is one of the most common types of anxiety and around one in 12 people, or two million Aussies, are expected to experience it at some point in their lives.
The good news, however, is that we can learn to win people over in social situations, and all it takes is a few easy changes in our own behaviour, says Confidence Coach Anthony Laye.
- Related: Why real life friendships are good for you
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How to give good chat
“One of the biggest mistakes I see people making when it comes to talking to others is they are conversation takers,” Anthony says.
“Whether it’s those quick conversations when picking the kids up from school, having a girly catch up, or having a chat at a BBQ, a lot of people are in the habit of either talking bad news or moaning about life.”
The Behaviour Expert says the trick in encouraging people to warm to us is to be a good listener.
“This means listening to learn rather than listening to talk,” he cautions.
“Next time you find yourself thinking about what you are going to say next, stop and refocus on what the other person is saying.
“Also by tilting your head slightly to the side, this non-verbally tells someone ‘I’m listening’.”
Ask interesting questions
Anthony says asking interesting and positive questions sparks the release of dopamine – the ‘feel good’ chemical – which will make you more memorable for all the right reasons!
“Rather than saying ‘I can’t believe it has rained all week; the kids have been driving me nuts stuck inside’ change this to ‘What exciting plans do you have for the weekend?’ or ‘What fun things are you working on at the moment?’
“It can even be as simple as ‘What’s been the highlight of your week?’,” he says.
Use gestures to bring words to life
We all know from personal experience how some people seem to effortlessly tell a good story.
According to Anthony it’s often our delivery that has a lot to do with this.
“Use gestures,” he says. “People who use gestures when they talk are seen as more interesting and charismatic.” Just try not to go overboard.
“Keep your gestures to about a hand-width past the shoulders and between the belt line and the chest. Move out of this zone and you might start to look like the Tasmanian devil,” he grins.
And as Anthony reminds us, while people may not remember what you say a lot of the time, they will always remember how you made them feel.
Anthony’s three top tips for winning people over:
- Be a good listener
- Ask interesting and positive questions
- Use gestures when telling a story
Catch up on the full episode of The House of Wellness TV show to see more from Zoe, Ed, Jo and the team.
Written by Liz McGrath.