As believers we are called to share the love of God and the Gospel of the Kingdom with others who have yet to experience God’s amazing grace. To do this we need to build solid relationships with people so that they know they are important. We need to learn how to treat everyone with dignity and respect iso that they will grow to trust you.
For this to even begin you need to come across as ‘likeable.’ And, regretfully, many believers are simply not likeable. So, here are some things we can adapt into our lives to become more likeable and approachable.
1> Become genuinely interested in other people
Often we are so wrapped up in our own life – our issues, our circumstances, our problems – that we really come across as distant and not interested in how others are doing. More importantly, we come across as not even interested in who they really are. One of my mentors taught me many years ago: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” It doesn’t matter how much power, education, or expertise you possess; people will respond to you more favourably if you first let them know that they matter to you as individuals.
A smile is inviting. To appear that you are interested in another person and actually care about them you need to make eye contact with them and do so with a smile. Research has shown that the eye contact alone is not enough. Eye contact says you are treating them as a person and they are important to you. You really want to connect. Add to that a sincere smile. You must smile as it is the smile that says you are a warm and caring person.
3> Remember that a person’s name is to him or her the sweetest and most important sound
I personally have trouble remembering peoples names. And, so I work hard at listening carefully when I first hear it. Then, if possible, I repeat it to myself a number of times or find some way to associate the name with the face or the person. I don’t always remember a name but at least I am trying. It is important as people like it when we call them by name the second time we meet them.
4> Be a good listener – encourage others to talk about themselves.
Remember that a person’s favourite topic is themselves. So, encourage them to talk about themselves and share some of their life story with you.
Someone once wrote: “Try to care about something in this vast world besides the gratification of small selfish desires. Try to care for what is best in thought and action – something that is good apart from the accidents of your own lot. Look on other lives besides your own. See what their troubles are, and how they are borne.” (Novelist George Eliot)
How do you take that advice to heart? By listening!
5> Talk in terms of the other person’s interests
To win in relationships, a person needs to learn to talk in terms of the other person’s interests. That’s true when meeting somebody for the first time, and it is true when you are building a long-term relationship.
One of the keys is what author Tony Allesandra calls the Platinum Rule. You probably know the Golden Rule: do unto others as you would have them do unto you. The Platinum Rule says, “Treat others the way they want to be treated.” Do that, and you almost can’t go wrong.
6> Make the other person feel important, and do it sincerely
The bottom line is that you need to make others feel important. And, anyone can learn to value people and make them feel important. It seldom comes naturally as most of us are too focused on ourselves.
We can learn this relational ability. This ability has been called “Woo.” Woo stands for ‘winning over others.’ I believe that individuals who have “woo” are drawn to people and “want to learn their names, ask them questions, and find some area of common interest so that they can strike up a conversation and build rapport. Woo is a natural strength that you have or you don’t. However, I believe that any person can develop people skills and learn to have charisma.
When talking about charisma – and that is what this blog has been all about – it all boils down to this: the person without charisma walks into a group and says, ‘Here I am.’ The person with charisma walks into a group and says, ‘There you are.’
Just about anyone can learn to do that. If you want to be the kind of person who makes others smile when they see you coming, get outside yourself, change your focus, and become interested in others. Doing these six things will change your life.