Top five techniques to win people over effortlessly
Wondering how to build a quick rapport with others and build that affinity immediately? It can be made easy! By keeping these simple techniques in mind you can connect with almost anyone you meet.
By Preeti Parashar
We speak to Malcolm Wong, director of dating agency Fabrique Love, to discover his top tips:
1. Begin with positivity and warmth
Approach the person with a smile as a cheerful face attracts others. “While most conversations seek to find a common ground between two individuals, people often forget that it’s the positivity and warmth that breaks the ice and opens up pathways for the conversation,” says Mr Wong.
Compliment the other person as this helps exchange positive energy. Interestingly, people tend to associate the adjectives you use for them with your personality too. This effect is known as “spontaneous trait transference”.
Avoid: Negativity and disinterest – these are often sure ways to end a conversation even before it starts.
2. Listen, don’t judge
If you want to impress someone, making them talk about themselves in your first meeting is a good way to start. “Maintain eye contact and show interest in what they say. Avoid judging them but listen patiently and ask genuine questions to show you’re listening,” Mr Wong advises.
Ask yourself, “Which idea or opinion of theirs did I find most fascinating and am curious to explore more?” Even if you don’t completely agree with what they say, try not to react negatively immediately. You have to suspend your ego by putting aside your own wants, needs and opinions. Remain calm and curious to find out more about the thought you disliked. You may just end up gaining a new perspective on things and strike a chord that way.
Focus on: What they’re saying at that moment. Listen to them patiently and calmly.
3. Radiate poise and confidence
An easy trick would be to visualise a warm and maybe gleeful continuation after your meeting ends, so that you enter the room smiling with an upright posture and a happy, confident stride. “When your date sees you walking in like you’re about to collect a lottery ticket (don’t break your rhythm even if whom you see isn’t what you expected!), you can be sure that any stain on your shirt or dress you overlooked isn’t going to be the focus of the conversation that night,” says Mr Wong.
Quick Tip: If in doubt, just give yourself a once-over – from your expression and posture right down to making sure you haven’t left a price tag on your new outfit.
4. Impress with body language
Body language takes centre stage when it comes to communication between two people. Mirroring the other person while you are with them can attract them towards you. Research shows that we like those who are similar to us. “Keep open body language and gestures such as sitting upright, palms up, uncrossed arms and legs, and an attentive face. When you’re alone with your companion, and presumably not in the dark, even the smallest little details come to fore. Avoid rolling eyes, frowning, slouching or shunning eye contact as they signal a lack of interest or attention. Instead, lean in, listen closely and get ready to give a big hug if the other person shares his or her sad moments of life. None of this requires that you even speak,” suggests Mr Wong.
Try: Mimicking the other person’s body language, facial expressions and gestures to connect faster.
5. Add humour to conversations
Mr Wong explains that because everyone has their own experiences, outlook on life and quirks, building rapport with strangers takes a little thought and preparation beforehand. One thing that tends to always help people to connect is sprinkling in some humour to the interactions. Joking and laughing together is a great way of forging new connections and engaging others emotionally. Research shows those who laugh together like each other more.
Remember: Banter with humour and don’t rattle incessantly with an intent to educate or “mansplain”.
To build a bond with someone you need to make them feel good and feel heard. The results will prove truly rewarding for you both!