Likeability

bobsusanWhen you focus on helping people like themselves, they will like you back. They will work for you, hire you, buy from you, refer you to their friends, listen to you, respect your opinion, vote for you, support you and befriend you.

Knowing how to get people to like themselves is the key to being liked. It’s the key to happiness, longevity, health and success. Enjoy the site!

Bob Sommers
The Likeability Guy

Just Say Hi

girlsYou cannot like someone you don’t know. More importantly, others cannot like you if they don’t know you exist. Somehow, someway a contact has to be made before anything happens. And if you don’t make the effort to make that contact, there’s a very good chance it’s not going to be made.

Old Friends Good Memories

I had an opportunity to talk to an old friend from college recently. We were discussing this exact topic. He told me that when he was in high school he would often look upon a group of his classmates and say to himself, “If they would only come over here and say “Hi,” I know they will like me.” His comment made me wonder out loud just how many people feel the same way.

He went on to tell me that he came to the same conclusion when he entered college. “If I feel this way,” Tom said, “There are certainly other students who feel the same way.”

“So what did you do?” I asked.

“I just said Hi,” Tom said. “And let the conversation go from there.”

My New Mantra

This is my new mantra, “Just Say Hi.” It’s so simple and so honest and yet, the thought of it paralyzes millions. But why?

engineerWhen I was a in college, I was elected social chairman for our fraternity. My primary job was to persuade the female population on campus to attend our parties. This was not an easy task. I belonged to an engineering fraternity where most of the boys were terrified to speak to girls, much less dance with them and carry on an interesting conversation.

As the social chairman I was allowed to suggest the dress code which did not allow white socks, slide rulers or pocket protectors to be worn during fraternity functions. I also made it mandatory that everyone had to wear pants that reached past their ankles. Imagine the fun.

Freshman Stole The Show

During one particular party I noticed that a group of girls had entered the fraternity and no one had made an effort to speak to them. So rather than introduce myself and introduce the girls to my friends, which I did at every party, I asked each of the freshman who were pledging the fraternity to take turns introducing themselves to the girls in a specific way.

The upperclassmen thought this was a funny hazing exercise until they realized that the freshman were meeting and dancing with all the girls while they were standing alone in the corner drinking beer.

dancing2Most people will not introduce themselves to a stranger because they don’t know what to say and they’re afraid of putting themselves in an awkward position. It doesn’t have to be that way. Here’s what I had the freshman do that made meeting the girls easy and fun.

5 Easy Steps To Hi!

Step 1: Start by saying Hi! Say it with a smile while looking her in the eyes and say it like you’re excited to meet her.

Step 2: Introduce yourself using either your first name or your first and last name. Say your name clearly and say your name with pride.

Step 3: Then, ask for her name. Do not ask until you’ve given your name first. It’s inappropriate and rude.

Step 4: Repeat her name at least once out loud and do not forget it under any circumstances. If you do, you will have extra duties next weekend around the fraternity.

Step 5: Every girl you meet tonight is more concerned about how she feels about herself than how she feels about you. Find a way to help her feel comfortable. You can do this in three different ways.

  • Give her a sincere compliment.
  • Talk about something you have in common.
  • Talk to her about something she is interested in and be interested in her.

People are at ease when they have an opportunity to talk about something they’re passionate about to someone who is interested in listening to what they have to say. Be that person.

Good Advice

That was my advice then, and to this day I still get calls and emails from the kids (who are now in their 50’s) in my fraternity who attended those parties.

Liking does not happen until people know you. Give them that opportunity by introducing yourself first. Don’t be afraid. The more people you meet, the more comfortable you’re going to be meeting people in the future.

Most of the people you meet feel just like my friend Tom felt when he was in high school. They’re thinking, “If you would only come over here and say “Hi” I know you will like me.” And they’re probably right. Be that person.

Have the courage to know that when you walk up to someone and introduce yourself you are going to like them and they are going to like you in return. It all starts when you just say, “Hi.”

Likeability Defined

You Can’t Make People Like You

Try as you may, you can’t make people like you. It’s a misnomer. You “can” like other people, but you “can not” make them like you back.

But wait, there is good news. When you focus your attention on helping people like themselves (not being a people pleaser or a brown noser) there is a very good chance they will like you in return. Be the kind of person people want to like.

Likeability Applied To Business

What’s The Quickest Way To Likeability?

What do you think is the quickest way to become more likable? Please tell me what you think in the comment section below.

Why Are You Called The Likeability Guy?

How To Be Likable in a Group

If you want to be seen as the most likable person in the room … and you do, there are times you’ll need to stand-up in order to stand-out. Here are a few ideas that will help you help the group and the people in your group feel good about themselves without drawing attention to yourself.

Parking At The Atlanta Airport

In the early days of my public speaking career I gave approximately 100 speeches a year and none of them were in my home town of Atlanta. Virtually every speaking engagement required a trip to the Atlanta-Hartsfield International Airport where I parked my car on a lot the size of New Jersey.

I credit the airport authority for doing their very best to help me find my car upon returning to Atlanta, but even with all of their help, I usually could have walked home in the time I located my car, and I lived 35 miles from the airport.

jackWhat Am I Going To Do?

After hearing me complain about this frustrating problem, my children decided to invest in an Airport Car Identification and Retrieval Device (ACIRD), otherwise know as a Jack-In-The-Box antenna ball. So one afternoon before yet another trip, they walked me to my car and attached Jack to my radio antenna and hugged me goodbye.

This trip was different. Upon my return to the Atlanta airport, I looked up over the sea of cars and there, off in the distance was Jack waving his bright white head yelling, “Over here! Here I am! Over here! Look over here!” My days of endlessly searching for my car in frustration were over, at least that’s what I thought.

It wasn’t long before every weary traveler in Atlanta discovered my trick. Within weeks I noticed hundreds of Jack balls all standing above the sea of cars yelling, “Over here! Here I am! Over here! Look over here!” With all the distractions, finding my car was harder than ever.

Now What?

I told my children how everyone at the airport had discovered their great idea and asked them to think of another solution. The next day after school I found them decorating my Jack ball with florescent yellow paint and a few personal touches that no one else dare imitate. (It’s amazing what two preteen boys will come up with when they’re mother isn’t looking.)

Problem solved. Now with hundreds of Jack balls yelling, “Over here! Here I am! Over here! Look over here!” My new and improved “Jackie” ball stood out beckoning me with her soft voice, “Hey sailor! Did you miss me?”

Make Me Feel Good About Me And My Group

Helping people feel good about the group they belong to is no different than helping an individual feel good about himself or herself. It makes little difference if the group is your daughters softball team, a staff meeting at work or the gathering of Nobel Laureates in Physics. Everyone wants to feel good about himself or herself and the people they associate with.

The only real difference in helping people feel good in a group setting is the fact that you’re doing it in a public forum. You must be willing to stand-up and assert your likability in an environment that terrifies most everyone else, and do it without calling attention to yourself.

Here are a few ideas as to how you can do just that.

  1. If you get and opportunity to speak, start by complimenting the group and be specific. Not only will the group appreciate your compliment, they will be much more likely to listen to what you have to say next.
  2. Pay attention to what’s going on in the meeting and actively look for observational humor opportunities. It’s very easy to do and everyone enjoys having their spirits elevated … especially the person who prompted the humor. If you want to learn more about observational humor, visit John Kinde’s Humor Site.
  3. Take on the role of host or hostess to the greatest extent you can in every group setting. In doing so, you will not only be an asset to the person responsible for the meeting, but you will be winning people over by helping them feel safe and welcome.

Don’t Wait

Don’t wait and don’t be shy when it comes to helping the group and the people in that group feel good about themselves, and don’t be surprised when others take notice and attempt to imitate your behavior. Be the Jack Antenna Ball that stands-up, stands-out and does something to demonstrate why you’re the most likable person in the room. It’s as easy as making the group feel special … Hey Sailor! Did you miss me?

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