The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds and Actions
By Guy Kawasaki
Published by Portfolio
Copyright © 2011 by Guy Kawasaki
“If you weren’t a math major, allow me to translate this equation into plain English:
* Make eye contact throughout.
* Utter an appropriate verbal greeting.
* Make a Duchenne smile.
* Grip the person’s hand and give it a firm squeeze.
* Stand a moderate distance from the other person: not so close as to make him uncomfortable or so far away as to make him feel detached.
* Make sure your hand is cool, dry, and smooth.
* Use a medium level of vigor.
* Hold the handshake for no longer than two to three seconds.
We’re almost done with creating a great first impression. The next step is to work on the words that you use when speaking to people.
Use the Right Words
The fourth factor is your vocabulary. Words are the facial expressions of your mind: They communicate your attitude, personality, and perspective. Wrong words give the wrong impression, so heed these recommendations:
* Use simple words. When you use words people have to look up in a dictionary or search for in Wikipedia, you’ve failed. As the Danish proverb goes, “Big words seldom accompany good deeds.”
* Use the active voice. Consider the impact of these two phrases: “Use the right words” versus “The right words should be used by you.” The passive voice is wimpy and inefficient. Enchanters use the active voice.
* Keep it short. In ten years of listening to entrepreneurs’ pitches, I’ve never heard one that was too short. If people are interested, they’ll ask for more information. If they’re not, providing more information won’t sway them, so use fewer words to express yourself.
* Use common, unambiguous analogies. Two common analogies that people use are war and sports. On war: Many people have not fought in a war, and those who have will tell you that war is confusion, death, and pain more than glory, victory, and leadership. Also, wars have a winner and a loser, whereas the goal of enchantment is mutually assured satisfaction. Finally, war analogies are ineffective at enchanting women.
On sports: Sports analogies, on the other hand, are effective because many people of both genders play sports. Nevertheless, sports are specific to countries—try using a cricket analogy on Americans, “It’s third down and ten, so we need to go deep” on Indians, or “We’ll deke the competition and go topshelf” on South Americans. If in doubt, use analogies that are specific to the culture of your audience or stick to common ones involving kids and family life.
People often overlook the choice of words, like the choice of clothing, when they present themselves. The list of fundamentals is now complete: smile, dress, handshake, and words. We can move on to our attitude.
For people to like you, they have to accept you. For people to accept you, you have to accept them. Here are four observations that will help you accept others in case you have difficulty doing so:
* People are not binary. People are not ones or zeros, smart or dumb, worthwhile or worthless. Everyone has strengths and weaknesses, positives and negatives, competencies and deficiencies.
* Everyone is better than you at something. People who don’t accept others often think they are superior to everyone. But no one is superior to everyone in every way. You may be a rich investment banker, but the person you look down upon may be a great teacher.
* People are more similar than they are different. At a basic level, almost everyone wants to raise a family, do something meaningful, and enjoy life. This is true across races, cultures, creeds, colors, and countries. If you looked, you would discover that you have a lot in common with people whom you don’t like.
* People deserve a break. The stressed and unorganized person who doesn’t have the same priorities as you may be dealing with an autistic child, abusive spouse, fading parents, or cancer. Don’t judge people until you’ve walked a kilometer in their shoes. Give them a break instead.
Death is the great equalizer—we all die equal as a lump of tissue, bone, and fluid. While we’re living, we need to get over ourselves and accept others if we want to enchant people.
Are the people you like the ones you see all the time? Maybe there’s something else going on. Maybe the fact that you see them often is the reason you’ve come to like them.
Close proximity and frequent contact mean you interact with them more, and your relationship can more easily progress from acquaintance to friend because of casual and spontaneous encounters. In other words, presence makes the heart grow fonder.
Unfortunately, large companies, virtual organizations, and digital communication work against physical proximity. Electronic/ virtual/digital interaction is good for maintaining relationships, but pressing flesh is better for creating relationships. This is the main reason to get out of your chair and jump into the analog world.
Companies like Zappos, the online shoe company, have figured out ways to fight isolation. For example, Zappos employees work in an open, few-walls environment that they personalize to the hilt. Zappos also turned the employee entrances and exits at its Las Vegas building into emergency-only exits, so people bump into each other at the main entrance.”
*****TABLE OF CONTENTS *****
1. Why Enchantment?
2. How to Achieve Likability
3. How to Achieve Trustworthiness
4. How to Prepare
5. How to Launch
6. How to Overcome Resistance
7. How to Make Enchantment Endure
8. How to Use Push Technology
9. How to Use Pull Technology
10. How to Enchant Your Employees
11. How to Enchant Your Boss
12. How to Resist Enchantment
part five of the excellent ‘Enchantment’ will appear here tomorrow