There aren’t too many books that have received the acclaim that Dale Carnagie’s book “How to Win Friends and Influence people” has received.  The biggest problem is that the title of the book has become a clique rather than something that we read and practice.

Your ability to engage others in a confident and timely manner is extremely important in both your social and professional life. Once you have mastered these important skills you will find renewed self confidence.

With this self confidence comes the bonus of having s wider sphere of influence. What can you do to engage with other people with comfort and confidence?

Let’s take a look:

  1. Focus on the other person; it’s amazing how much you’ll be liked if the topic of conversation is the other person. One of the unspoken secrets of building rapport with someone else is to facilitate their being able to talk about themselves. What better portal to gaining the trust of another person than letting them know you are genially interested in them?
  2. Pay attention to body language, yours and the other persons. Here again perception is reality. Think back to those occasions when you first met someone whose body language gave a very telling message. What is being “said” by the person who pulls away from you? Or, that person whose eyes focus on someone or something other than you? Obviously they aren’t really engaging you. If you really are interested in another person your body language will convey that message.
  3. Give the other person your undivided attention. Much like body language this tip is hinged on your being attentive to the other person. Listen; really listen to what they have to say. Respond by asking questions that allow the other person to expand on their self description.
  4. Identify those things you have in common. As words are exchanged try to find those areas where you have a mutual interest. One tip in doing this is to be in touch with your own feelings and when there is a connection share it with that other person.
  5. Envision what you expect from the encounter. Is the encounter simply a social interaction from which there is no expectation of future mutual benefit? If this is what you determine than the interaction can be kept at the level of common courtesy. But, and this is important, if your interaction reveals something deeper, be it a unspoken benefit for yourself, be prepared to take the relationship to the next level.

One final and important point to make is the answer to this question: what is your agenda? Now it’s quite normal for each of us to have an agenda for our behavior. Recognizing and then accepting this agenda will free you to be yourself.

The most important factor in developing rapport is your having clarity about what it is you expect as an outcome for these encounters? What is your agenda?

These and other skills are well within your reach, to learn more…

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