‘Enchantment: The Art of…’ part three

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The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions
By Guy Kawasaki
Published by Portfolio
ISBN: 9780241953648
Copyright © 2011 by Guy Kawasaki

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How to Achieve Likability

Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.
—Oscar Wilde

Now that you understand the importance of enchantment, we can build a foundation to implement it. Step one is achieving likability, because jerks seldom enchant people. It’s true that a magnificent cause can overcome a prickly personality, but why make things harder? This chapter explains how to make yourself more likable.

Make Crow’s-Feet

Let’s start with the first impression that you make. Four factors create a good one: your smile, your dress, your handshake, and your vocabulary. First, smile at people. What does it cost to smile? Nothing. What does it cost not to smile? Everything, if it prevents you from connecting with people. While smiling sends a very clear message about your state of mind, not smiling creates an opening for many interpretations, including grumpiness, aloofness, and anger—none of which helps you enchant people. If you don’t believe smiling is useful, answer these questions:

* Do you like to do business with grumpy people?
* Do you know anyone who does?
* Do you think grumpy people get what they want?

The key to a great, George Clooneyesque smile is to think pleasant thoughts. If you’re grumpy inside, it’s hard to have a smile that lights up a room. The most you’ll accomplish is a fake smile, and a fake smile won’t make people like you.

(Photograph not shown)

A fake smile uses only the zygomatic major muscle—the one that runs from your jaw to the corner of your mouth. It’s easy to control this muscle, so it leads to fake or what was called “Pan American smiles” (called this because Pan American flight attendants supposedly weren’t truly happy to see passengers).

A great smile uses the orbicularis oculi muscle, too. This muscle surrounds your eyes, and it makes you squint and produces crow’s-feet. A real smile is so special that it has its own name: the Duchenne smile, in honor of Guillaume Duchenne, a French neurologist.

So when you meet people, think pleasant thoughts, fire up the orbicularis oculi muscle, and make crow’s-feet so deep they can hold water. Call them laugh lines instead, if this makes you feel better. And for the sake of your smile, skip the Botox treatments and facelifts.

Dress for a Tie

Distrust any enterprise that requires new clothes.
—Henry David Thoreau

The second factor is how you dress. This is the one time you want a tie (no pun intended), not a victory or a loss. Overdressing says, “I’m richer, more powerful, and more important than you.” Underdressing says, “I don’t respect you. I’ll dress any way that I please.” Equal dressing says, “We’re peers.” My recommendation is to park your ego. You don’t have to “make a statement” and try to show people you have money, power, or great taste. The goal is likability—not superiority.

That said, your dress shouldn’t conflict with what you stand for. For example, if you’re an outside-the-box, innovative, and revolutionary thinker, then a three-piece suit with a bow tie won’t cut it. In the same way, if you’re the adult supervision, then a T-shirt and jeans won’t work, either.

Dressing for a tie while staying true to your message can create an issue: What if matching your audience conflicts with your message? For example, should you wear jeans or a suit when you’re the adult supervision in a company with a jeans-and-T-shirt atmosphere?

John Sculley faced this issue when he came to work at Apple. He chose to embrace the jeans look although he was the adult supervision. I don’t think he was ever comfortable in jeans, and employees never considered him “one of the guys.”

If you encounter this situation, here are two recommendations: First, ask people in the organization what to do. At least this shows you are smart enough to ask and flexible enough to listen—which are both valuable messages in themselves.

Second, except for cases where doing so is organizational suicide, dress in a manner that makes you feel comfortable. It’s hard to enchant people when you’re uncomfortable, and besides, there’s something enchanting about a person who is who she is and lets it rip.

Perfect Your Handshake

The third factor in first impressions is your handshake. Fortunately, Geoffrey Beattie, head of psychological sciences at the University of Manchester, came up with this formula for the perfect handshake:

PH = V (e2 + ve2)(d2) + (cg + dr)2 + n{(4<s>2)(4<p>2)}2 + (vi + t + te)2 + {(4<c>2)(4<du>2)}2

Where e is eye contact (1=none, 5=direct), optimum value 5; ve is verbal greeting (1=totally inappropriate, 5=totally appropriate), 5; d is Duchenne smile—smiling in eyes and mouth, plus symmetry on both sides of face, and slower offset (1=totally non-Duchenne smile or false smile, 5=totally Duchenne), 5; cg completeness of grip (1=very incomplete, 5=full), 5; dr is dryness of hand (1=damp, 5=dry), 4; s is strength (1=weak, 5=strong), 3; p is position of hand (1=back toward own body, 5=in other person’s bodily zone), 3; vi is vigor (1=too low/too high, 5=mid), 3; t is temperature of hands (1=too cold/too hot; 5=mid), 3; te is texture of hands (1=too rough/too smooth, 5=mid), 3; c is control (1=low; 5=high), 3; and du is duration (1= brief; 5=long), 3.”

part four of ‘Enchantment’ will appear here tomorrow 

About Dawn Montgomery

Dawn Montgomery doesn't believe in boxes. In 2009 she gained access to the hidden job market by connecting with commuters on the GO train, receiving coverage from The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star and Hamilton Spectator, plus interviews with Canada AM, CHML 900 and That Channel; however, this was not the first example of her "box?...what box?" thinking. On arrival as an immigrant to Canada the anticipated job and accommodation were no longer available, so she sourced another opportunity and, seven days later, with suitcase of heels and coordinating bags, drove 1804k to the logging and mining community of Ear Falls (pop. 1500) Ontario; it was January, the journey took five days, she stayed two years...the path less travelled is a familiar one!
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