99FM – Your Inspiration Station

6 Ways to Make People Like You

Namibian Life Coach and Business Owner, Nabukenya Muwonge notes that “The biggest lesson I learnt as an employer is that the most efficient way of getting people to support you in business is to get them to like you. I don’t mean you have to be friends and socialise with them, I mean you need to genuinely connect with them. When people know you care about them and their needs, you build trust with them and they support you in your needs.”

What it all comes down to in the end is that people will like you if you’re genuine and nice, if you are interested in them and their lives, and if you are sincere in your motivations.

One of the most influential books of the modern era is Dale Carnegie’s “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. The book was the first of its kind and it ushered in a new genre in books, namely the Self-Help book. The author amassed lessons from hundreds of leaders and influential people across the world, past and present, to create a summary of the common habits among them.

The book goes into quite a lot of details, so we’ve taken out 6 simple ways from Carnegie’s book on how to make people like you. But remember, with great likeability comes great responsibility…

1. Be Genuinely Interested in Other people.

People are interested in themselves. That’s not being nasty, that’s just a truth. They like what they like, and they like other people who like the same things. It’s much more difficult trying to convince someone else to be interested in you, than for you to be interested in them. Turn the table. Instead of throwing out all your best attributes, make them feel like they’re the star of the show. But beware, there’s nothing worse than false interest. Or false anything, when it comes to dealing with people. Rather, find something about the other person that is interesting, whether it’s their love for bird-watching, or their quirky sense of style. And by delving through the various facets to the person you’re talking to, you get to know them in a way that’s unexpected and usually quite enjoyable. They’ll remember you for it, and you might find out you have much more in common that you may have believed.

2. Smile

It’s as easy as that. Just through the act of raising a smile to your lips, you make the other person more comfortable. Not the psycho, crazy smile, though, just a friendly outer signal of your nice-ness. The bonus is that as humans we are almost programmed to replicate other people’s body language, so if you paste a grin to your face, chances are the other person will do the same. Not only that, but recent studies have shown that by having positive body language, you effectively fool your brain into feeling good, so by smiling, you make yourself feel good, and the other person will, too.

3. Remember Names

No excuses. This is by far one of the most important things you can do in networking and when meeting new people. Don’t tell yourself you’re bad at names, it just reinforces the idea and makes your brain predisposed to forget. Instead, change your attitute and make it a habit to think about the person’s name as soon as they’ve given it to you. So, if you’re talking to a Susan, think Susan looks Shy, wears Satin and loves going to the Sea. Even if you’re just making it up, try to make a connection with the first letter of the name you’re trying to remember. Another good technique is also to try to use the person’s name in a sentence three times as soon as they’ve introduced themselves. Sounds like good advice, but it might come across as a bit weird – you’ll just have to take the plunge and be that weirdo at the party. At least you’ll remember everybody’s names. That will make you the most popular weirdo.

4. Be a good Listener. 

It’s so easy to talk about ourselves. We are just so interesting and so cool, right? Right. Which is why when someone’s talking you should give them the same amount of attention they would give themselves. In other words, show them how important they are by giving them your full attention. It comes back to the first tip on this list, because when you find someone interesting you are by default intently keeping your ears pricked to all they’re saying.

5. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest

Now that you’ve made the conversation all about the other person, you’ve found out some interesting things about them. Or if you didn’t, at least you now know that the person you are talking to is obsessed with Justin Bieber. Great! That means from now on you can use it to your advantage. Want to take over the world? Tell them Justin told you to do it, they’ll support you! Well, maybe not.

6. Make the other person feel important, sincerely

There’s nothing worse than someone that’s being two-faced, a person who you can tell is just trying to make you feel important. Ugh. Actually, wait, no, it’s quite nice to feel important.

What it comes down to is that when you’ve done all of the above, you will have inherently made the other person feel important. Because you are spending your time on them, you are talking about them, you are interested in them. There is no greater compliment than being genuinely interested in spending time with someone else, and it will come across.

Now you’ve got all these amazing tips on how to make people like you, we suggest you go out there and work your amazing charm, win friends, influence people and learn about other people along the way. This will only benefit you and your career.