Eric Barker, where have you been all my life?! If you haven’t heard of him or his blog Barking Up The Wrong Tree, I think it’s going to become a bible for some. It’s already acquired a hand-book status for over 260,000 people.
I came across it while perusing through TIME reading his article about “How to Be More Assertive” which is also a pretty riveting read. His posts are backed up by research and is basically an array of no-bullshit information for anyone who is inclined to help themselves in their career or happiness.
Barker called up Robin Dreeke, author of It’s Not All About “Me”: The Top Ten Techniques for Building Quick Rapport with Anyone who was also the head of the FBI’s Behavioural Analysis Program. Barker reports that Dreeke studied interpersonal relations for over 27 years.
Catered for those who are trying to either a) network with the VIPs to propel their career forward b) further their relationship to find peak happiness and c) know how to tackle awkward conversations and keep them running smoothly. Applicable and beneficial to everyone, Barker encapsulates how you can get people to like you.
Seek someone else’s thoughts and opinions without judging them.
Dreeke gives the age-old advice of listening: without judgement.
He reminds us that people, including you, don’t like to be judged on their opinions or actions.
You don’t have to agree with them, you just need to try and understand their “needs, wants, dreams and aspirations.” However, when you’re talking to some bat-shit crazy person that you strongly disagree with, Dreeke reveals his first reaction by responding with, “Oh, that’s really fascinating. I never heard it in quite that way. Help me understand. How did you come up with that?”
You’re probably thinking, ‘Ohh~ so all I have to do is make them talk about themselves…’ and yes, as boring and obvious as it sounds, it’s true. People are programmed to thoroughly enjoy and experience pleasure when they talk about themselves.
If you’re in a job where socialising at public events with various randoms is part of it, then you’ll know probably know that it’s really hard to pay attention and listen properly. From my personal experience, this can get really exhausting very quickly. Dreeke says that the only problem that will hold you back from non-judgemental validation is your ego, which brings us to the second point.