Be Whoever You Need to Be
Some people might say that this is being dishonest. It’s not. This is something that people do naturally. Some people just do it better than others. And once you understand what to do, you will notice that you have done much of these things all your life. Also, it’ll be fun to notice all the times Will is doing these things, so pay attention dammit.
Ready kids? Here we go”¦
How to Build Rapport
Research has found that most of our communication with others is done via nonverbal means. In other words, although we may be talking with someone, only 7 percent of the total communication the other person receives is verbal. That’s right, kids! Only SEVEN percent of what they receive are your actual words.
Our tone of voice, or HOW we say it, conveys a larger 38 percent. And the remaining 55 percept comes from our facial expressions and body language.
This is significant. This is VERY significant. The vast majority of our communication with someone, the vast majority of what they will pick up from you as they decide if they like what you say and do, comes from everything BUT the actual words you say. Instead, it’s more important HOW you say it and it’s more important what you do with YOUR BODY when you say it.
- 7% – Words
- 38% – How words are said
- 55% – Body Language
There’s a statement floating around relationship-world that is entirely wrong: Opposites attract. This is just not true. People like people who are like them. When you first meet someone, what’s the first thing you do? You talk about the weather, sports, music, whatever UNTIL you find something in common. “Oh my gosh! I LOVE the beach!” Once you find that commonality, the conversation kicks into gear.
Even in those relationships where they insist that they like the person because they are “So much NOT me” they will find many instances where they share many likes and dislikes. It’s the commonalties, the shared interests, which make a relationship work.
So, how can you get people to like you?
First of all, stop worrying about what to say. Yes, what you say is important, but understand that this is just 7% of the communication that matters. (Besides, it’s better to ask questions than to talk. The best conversationalists are those who ask a lot of questions and actually talk the LEAST.) What you want to focus on are the other parts of communication ”“ the 38% of HOW you say things and the 55% of what you do when you say it.
Matching and Mirroring
The first thing you want to do when talking with someone is to match their tone of voice and how fast or slow they talk. If they talk quickly, then you should also talk quickly. If they have a slow drawl like a sutherner’, then talk slowly with hems and haws. And if they talk loudly, then you must do the same. Likewise, if they talk quietly.
Think about this a bit. When was the last time you had a real nice conversation with someone? During this conversation, if that person was opening up their soul, talking quietly, intensely, slowly, really thinking about their words, were you responding with a loud tone of voice while talking real fast? No, you weren’t. Chances are, you had the same tone and tempo.
Have you ever heard two girls talking and had a hard time distinguishing one from the other? “Oh my GOD, can you believe it? I’m sitting there, ok, like right outside of the Gap, and these two guys walked by and said hi!” “Oh my God!” “I know!” “They just said hi?” “Yes, and one was SO CUTE, can you believe it?” “No way! I can’t believe it. Did you get his number? What did he look like?” “Get this”¦” “OK!” “He goes to the same school as Jenny.” “Get out!” “No, I’m serious!” “Way cool!”
(This was an actual conversation I overhead. “Way?” “Way! I am so serious.”)
Try this the next time you meet someone you don’t know. Talk just like them and see how quickly they take to you. And what’s really interesting is that NO one EVER notices what you’re doing.
But the easiest thing you can do to build rapport with someone is to model their body language. If they cross their legs, you cross your legs. If they lean back, YOU lean back. If they act nervous and fidgety, you do the same. Whatever they do, you follow. This is the FIRST thing you should do if you want someone to like you or be comfortable with you (for example, in an interview).
This is such a simple thing and it works so well. And if you think it’s dishonest, then you haven’t paid attention to people all that closely. Go somewhere public. If you see two people having an intense, warm conversation, chances are there will be SOMETHING about their body language that is the same. And you do this all the time. The next time you’re with someone you like and you’re having a particularly enjoyable time, notice your bodies. Something will be alike. It’s really kind of fun to see all this happening.
In fact, the next time you have a great conversation with someone, observe the similarities between the two of you. Observe EVERYTHING ”“ the voice, tone, tempo, hand gestures, body language, body position, everything. You will smile as you realize that what I describe is happening.
And what’s even more interesting is that once you’ve built that rapport with someone, you can start LEADING them. For example, if the person is leaning up towards you with their hands separated and you’re doing the same, having a wonderful conversation, after a few moments try sitting back and clasping your hands. The vast majority of the time, the other person will AT LEAST sit back or maybe just bring their hands together, often both. It happens every time. It’s kind of fun.
And believe me, this is hardly a psychological breakthrough. This has been known for a long time and used for even longer. And large corporations are being charged mega bucks for some Joe-Schmoe to come in and teach their salesman and their managers exactly what I just briefly described. If you want more information on NLP, here’s a good place to start http://www.nlpinfo.com/. I imagine Will read Anthony Robbins’ Unlimited Power a few years ago. He talks about all this stuff in his book. (And Mr. Robbins learned it from several others, but doesn’t like to give much outside credit.)
So this is your assignment: Pay attention to everyone’s body language and their tone of voice, tempo, etc. Notice how people change. And especially, as it pertains to Big Brother, notice Will and how he does this so well.
So, my compliments to Will (and Nicole) for a game well-played. If either of these two don’t win, it WON’T be because they didn’t play the game as well as the others. It will be a fluke in the system.
Ok kids? Please do your assignments. You’ll have fun.