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9 Techniques To Master Your Social Skills

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9 Techniques To Master Your Social Skills

Let’s face it, not all of us score an “A” when it comes to sociability and likability. Indeed many people cringe at the thought of attending a social gathering or a networking event.

Unfortunately, at times they’re unavoidable.

Whether you’re the introvert that’s quickly drained with obligatory conversations, or would never call yourself a “people-person,” there are behavioral hacks that will trigger rapport and positive responses from others.

Here are nine social techniques, some backed by studies, that will ensure you ace your next social interaction.

 

1. Show your palms

You’d assume the eyes are the first place you look when meeting someone, but it’s the hands. It’s an evolutionary behavior that still persists; a survival mechanism to make sure the other person is not carrying weapons.

So when you meet someone for the first time, keeping your hands visible, and showing your palms will make them comfortable.

 

2. Use their name

It’s the sweetest sound to everyone’s ears. Hearing your own name sparks up portions of your brain. Using the person’s name in a conversation will perk their interest and put a smile on their face. We shouldn’t have to make a note that using it in every sentence is too much.

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” – Dale Carnegie

3. Novel questions

If you want to guarantee a boring conversation, ask “So, what do you do for a living?” It’s so worn out, yet still so commonly the textbook approach to every conversation. Charisma coach JT Tran suggests asking “If you were a pizza topping, what would you be?”

Novel questions will always evoke a smile and interesting conversations.

 

4. Vary your tone

Charismatic speakers are always adjusting their vocal tone. Think back to that painfully boring lecture, the professor was monotone right? Varying your tone during a conversation will keep the other person engaged and interested in you.

 

5. Hand gestures

A survey of 760 people who rated and watched hundreds of hours of Ted Talks revealed a direct correlation between the number of views and number of hand gestures.

The top Ted Talks that averaged over 7 million views used double the amount of hand gestures as the talks that averaged over 100K views.

Why are people drawn to hand gestures? Because you’re talking to them on two levels: the verbal and nonverbal.

Social Techniques

6. The slight touch

The line between creepy and effective is very thin on this one. The highly charismatic Bill Clinton is a master of strategic social touching. Whether it’s a pat on the back or a touch of the elbow, when done at the right moments can really increase your rapport with a person.

 

7. Stand side-on

Standing directly in front of a person can be perceived as confrontational. You can adjust your positioning as the conversation continues, but initially standing slightly side-on will ensure an interaction starts on the best foot.

“Talk to someone about themselves and they’ll listen for hours.” – Dale Carnegie

8. Eye contact

Psychologists at Aberdeen University found that people were more attracted to faces that maintained eye contact rather than those who averted their eyes.

Of course, intense eye contact would cause anyone uncomfort. Maintaining a consistent amount however will increase likability and attractiveness.

 

9. Smile

Last but definitely not least. There’s a social obligation that comes with a smile, and rarely will it be unreciprocated. With a smile comes the release of happy chemicals. Those happy chemicals will make it difficult for someone not to like you.

 

I hope these techniques are useful. Are there any techniques you would add to this list? Please comment below!

A refugee from Vietnam, raised in Australia, with a BA from Texas, Thai writes for many publications including The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur.com, and Addicted2Success. A professional chef, international kickboxer, and spiritual teacher, Thai is passionate about helping people become the best version of themselves. Signup for his free weekly Infographics at TheUtopianLife.com | Connect @ThaiWins | On Facebook 

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tim Denning

    Aug 7, 2015 at 10:05 am

    If I was to add a number ten tip, I would say just be you, and don;t talk about yourself all the time.

    Thanks Thai for sharing your thoughts.

  2. Naya

    May 27, 2015 at 2:33 pm

    Standing straight would be a great addition as well, cuz you will seem more interested and also sound and look more comfortable for the other person. 🙂

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Life

How to Protect Yourself From Other People’s Negativity

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When I was a kid, it seemed like I felt pain more than anyone else around me. Not just physical pain, but emotional pain. I cried easily, over many things. I had an especially hard time when people were fighting around me, and I didn’t even have to be involved. I could feel the negative energy and felt upset and overwhelmed. I didn’t have a constructive way of handling it. (more…)

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How to Write a Personal Destiny Statement in 3 Steps

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We all have a God-given destiny to fulfill that we were each born with. I personally believe it is buried deep down within us. The number one secret to success is to let it emerge out of you and release it to the world. What is my destiny you may ask? It is the thing you would regret not doing before leaving Planet Earth. (more…)

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Don’t Want To Feel Like A Failure Anymore? Stop Doing These 6 Things

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It’s pretty annoying isn’t it? All those great and accomplished people telling you that FAILURE is a necessity on your way to success. Yeah, that’s easy for them to say; they’re already ‘on the other side’! You on the other hand, are still struggling all day everyday to get your business lifted off the ground and are really not that sure if you’re indeed going to make it.

There’s that little voice in your head that keeps telling you that you don’t have the stuff to make it all happen. Not now and not ever. You feel like a failure…it’s holding you back and you don’t know how to deal with it. Well you could do yourself a favor and start dealing with it by doing the following things:

1. Stop Denying You Feel Like A Failure

Telling yourself things are going great when they’re not is one of the biggest, though most useless, coping mechanisms human beings deploy in rough times. Common denial signals among entrepreneurs: trying to regain more control by working even more hours and on the other side compensating this by letting go of all this control by partying and drinking way too hard.

What you’re doing is denying yourself the opportunity to actually feel what’s going on and acknowledge the problem; that both you and your business are in a bad place. Without acknowledging it, it’ll be pretty difficult to actually STOP feeling it. And remember, just because you feel like a failure, this does not mean that you indeed ARE a failure!

2. Stop Making It Bigger Than it Really Is

This is one of those other ‘fun’ things human beings do; we blow things way out of proportion in our heads! In business, when you lose that big client you’ve been working on for weeks, it feels like it’s the end of the world. You start doubting yourself, your strategy, your entire business model right up to the point where you barely sleep because you’re working on pivoting the whole thing.

But what if that customer simply didn’t have the money to go for your service anyway? Or what if they just decided to go for someone who is cheaper but who offers less quality? Does that mean there’s something wrong with YOU? Or that this was the ONLY customer out there and that you’re now doomed forever?

Of course not, it simply means that THIS CUSTOMER wasn’t a match. It’s a bit like dating actually…So if you take this into consideration, could it be that you just feel like a failure instead of really not succeeding in that what you want to at this point in time?

3. Stop Thinking You’re The Only One Who Feels Like This

You’re not! With the possible exception of the true sociopaths, that feeling you’re feeling is very normal to EVERYONE. It might not seem like it on the outside – because people don’t like to acknowledge this remember – but I can guarantee you that it’s true. But unlike 99% of the world’s population, YOU’RE not going to let this feeling stop you in your tracks. Are you?

4. Stop Thinking You’re Supposed To Be Superhuman

In fact, it’s very likely that you’re already doing, learning and succeeding at WAY more than most other people are. But for entrepreneurs, somehow, that never seems to be enough. You don’t just want to be successful after a few years of hard work (which is normal). You want to be successful after only a few months. Because you’re special…or at least you think you are…

Well, here’s the truth: you ARE special! But…it’s just not very likely that you’re one of those – very very rare – entrepreneurial superstars that – seemingly – just added some hot water and got instant business success as a result.

5. Stop Being So Incredibly Stubborn

Entrepreneurs are stubborn…almost by default. It’s what makes them push forward in the hardest of times. But…if you’re not doing the right things right you might just be hammering a square peg through a round hole. Which will only add to that frustrated feeling you’re already having. So why not stop being so stubborn for a moment, stop hammering away on that what obviously is not working and ask for help?

No matter who you ask – a business mentor or coach, a befriended entrepreneur – someone with a neutral perspective on you and our business will be very likely to see what’s going on with a lot more clarity than you can and can guide you to a place that will feel a whole lot more comfortable.

6. Stop Being Afraid Of Failure

I know, I know, you’ve heard this a million times before and you wouldn’t be in this pickle if you could do this. Right? I’m right there with ya!

But, if you get really rational about it, what’s the worst that could happen?

  • You might have to get a ‘real’ job for a while and start over on the side;
  • You might not be able to afford your rent anymore…but with Airbnb on the 1 hand and couchsurfing on the other, you should be able to work it out somehow;
  • You’ll have all the more experience to start over a whole lot faster;
  • You’ll be no less respected by anyone because it’s clear you gave it your all;
  • In a few years, when you’re an established and supersuccessful entrepreneur you’ll also have a cool failure story to tell;
  • None of your limbs will fall off;

Now that’s not too bad for a plan B is it? Failure is such a negative word. And the associated feeling is terrible and numbing. But really…how is giving it your all and not succeeding really the same as failing? Shouldn’t the definition of failure not be along the lines of ‘not even trying’ or ‘giving up when it gets hard’?

In other words: stop beating yourself up over this!

There’s really no need to feel like a failure at all because you’re sticking your neck out, you’re trying to make a difference and you’re still moving upward on that treacherous entrepreneurial mountain.

And that…is what success REALLY is.

Those Who Failed Their Way To Success

Quotes To Live By:

“Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.” – Robert F. Kennedy

“If you don’t try at anything, you can’t fail… it takes back bone to lead the life you want” – Richard Yates

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

“We are all failures – at least the best of us are.” – J.M. Barrie

“Success is stumbling form failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm” – Winston Churchill

“Don’t let success go to your head and failure to your heart” – Will Smith

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Life

Why You Never Have Enough Time and What You Need to Do About It

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how to manage your time better
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Has this ever happened to you? You had an assignment, and the deadline was far away. You didn’t work on it much, but in the back of your mind, that insistent little voice was always whispering, “I gotta get this assignment done.” (more…)

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