Why do we instinctively like some people and find others irritating or worse?
What makes us agree, buy, help . . . or not? Do your gut instincts help or hinder your “LQ” – Likeability Quotient? From an expert on gut instincts, gain insights about how to say it better next time. Answer this quick nine question quiz and get some tips. Some of the answers may surprise you.
1. Do people get along better when talking to each other if they are facing
each other or if they are standing side by side?
2. Who tends to face the person with whom they are speaking (men or women) and who tends to stand side by side, facing more or less the same way (women or men)?
3. If you want to increase the chance of knowing if someone is lying to you, what is one helpful phenomenon to notice about that person’s face when he or she is talking to you?
4. If you want to keep someone’s attention, is it better to wear a patterned
shirt or blouse or a plain blouse or shirt?
5. What is the most directly emotional of all the senses, bypassing the
thinking facilities and causing a quicker, more intense reaction in the limbic
(emotions) system than any other sense?
6. Are you more likely to get someone to support you or buy something if you give them something up front, unasked, before you ask for the favor?
7. Who tends to maintain wider peripheral vision when entering a new place, men or women?
8. Who tends to be more specific in their descriptions, adults or children?
9. Of the previous eight questions, which is the one people are most likely to ask for the answer to first, and if reading the questions in a group, are most likely to comment on first?
1. People get along better when they “sidle”, stand or sit side by side rather than when they face each other.
2. Men are more likely to sidle than women.
3. Note the timing and duration of the first “reactive” expression on someone’s face when you think that person is not telling you the truth. When lying, most people can put an innocent expression on their faces, yet few (except pathological liars) will have the right timing or duration of that expression.
If you ignore the expression itself and, instead, consider whether the timing and duration of the expression seem natural, you’ll greatly increase your chances of knowing if that person is lying.
4. Wearing a plain, unpatterned shirt or blouse will increase the chances that the listener will hear you longer. A patterned top or ornate jewelry or loud tie will break up the listener’s attention span sooner, and that person is more likely to go on more “mental vacations” sooner.
5. Smell is the most directly emotional of the senses. The right natural scent can refresh or relax you and others in your home or work site. Vanilla, apple, and chocolate are the scents Americans most like.
6. Yes, up to 14 times more likely to get their support or a purchase. This gut instinct is often called “reciprocity reflex.” Learn more by reading Influence by Robert Cialdini.
7. Women. That is why storeowners who serve men will increase their sales if they have prominent, eye-level signage over large displays where men will see the signage soon after entering the store.
8. Children are more vividly specific, hitting their prime around fourth grade and then beginning to speak in generalities, more like adults. A specific detail proves a general conclusion, not the other way around. Plus, specifics are more memorable and credible.
9. Question number 3.
It seems that we have an inordinate interest in lying.
Three related insights on instincts that may interest you:
Finding #1: “Move to Motivate”
Motion is emotional. It increases the intensity of feeling about whatever is
Further, people remember more the things they dislike or fear that they
experience in motion, more than things they enjoy. Motion attracts attention and causes people to remember more of what’s happening and feel more strongly about it, for better or for worse.
This is another justification for golf! Think of the memorability inherent in a golf swing. The more dimensions of motion involved (body moving up/down, left/right, backward/forward), the more memorable the motion.
Get others involved in motions with you that create good will: walking, sharing a meal, handing or receiving a gift, shaking hands, turning to face a new scene. You are more likely to literally get “in sync” (vital signs become more similar: eye pupil dilation, skin temperature, heartbeat) and to then get along.
Finding #2: “Deep Convictions”
The more time, actions, or other effort someone has put into something,
someone, or some course of action, the more deeply that person will believe in it, defend it, and work on it further.
If you want more from another person, wait to ask until after she has invested more time, energy, money, or other resources. The more someone talks about it, repeats and elaborates it, writes it down, and explains it to others, the more deeply that person will believe it – and feel inclined to tell others. Imagine your customers raving about their experience with your product.
Finding #3: “True Timing”
If a person likes the way he acts when he is around you, he often sees the
qualities in you that he most admires. The opposite is also true. Two universal truths: people like people who are like them, and people like people who like them.
Pick the moments when someone feels most at ease and happy to move the relationship forward. Don’t make suggestions or requests when they are acting in an unbecoming way your efforts will only backfire. Praise the behavior you want to flourish. Don’t ask for more from someone until they have invested more time, money, other resources, or emotional “chits” in the relationship.
Kare Anderson is an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal journalist, now a speaker on connective behavior and author. Her TED talk on The Web of Humanity: Be an Opportunity Maker has attracted over 2.5 million views. Her TEDx talk on Redefine Your Life Around a Mutuality Mindset is now a standard session for employees and invited clients at 14 national and global corporations. Her ideas have been cited in 16 books. Her clients are as diverse as Salesforce, Novartis, and The Skoll Foundation. She was a founding board member of Annie’s Homegrown and co-founder of nine women’s political PACs. For Obama's first presidential campaign she created over 208 issues formation teams. She was Pacific Telesis' first Cable TV and Wideband Division Director and a founding board member of Annie's Homegrown. Kare’s the author of Opportunity Makers, Mutuality Matters, Moving From Me to We, Beauty Inside Out, Walk Your Talk, Getting What You Want, and Resolving Conflict Sooner. She serves on the boards of The Business Innovation Factory, TEDxMarin, and World Affairs Council Marin.