Are You Successful With People?
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Do you find social gatherings awkward? Do you struggle to read people’s emotions and react appropriately? Then you need this book.
Have you ever in your life been dragged to a party where you had no idea who anybody was except the one friend who brought you?
If so you may recall the hours of awkward social interaction.
You go straight to the food and drinks to occupy yourself.
You see others chatting and enjoying themselves yet you have no idea how to approach any of them.
Someone comes along to save the day and introduces themself.
However, conversation goes dull in record time and after a quick handshake, you are back in the corner feeling out of place.
If this sounds familiar, you are not alone.
When it comes to social interactions, many people struggle. It does not matter if you are an introvert, extrovert, or ambivert, conversation skills take training and practice.
Thankfully, we have an amazing book by Vanessa Van Edwards called Captivate, The Science of Succeeding with People.
Captivate is probably one of the best books I have read all year.
The Biggest Takeaways For Myself
The book starts out by testing some of your basic skills.
I was somewhat surprised on area’s I scored well in comparison to area’s that I didn’t.
In area’s that I scored low, the book highlights what chapters are most beneficial.
However, I recommend you read every page. Even in area’s I tested high, I was able to learn so much to improve.
Captivate takes a very real approach to life.
I have always though of myself as an introvert. However, I quickly learned that I am more of an ambivert.
There are situations that I just don’t personally enjoy being in and others where I thrive.
Captivate really helps to put in perspective that you need to be you and not try to satisfy everyone. This means saying “no” when it’s not in your best interest. Always saying yes zaps energy from us when we agree to something we don’t really want to do.
For instance, I would do better at a business meeting in a nice restaurant than I would at a club.
I learned how to make a better first impression by implementing the what Edwards calls the triple threat. Our hands, posture, and eyes, have the more influence in the first impression than what we say.
Lastly, while we can want to be all things to all people, it’s not realistic.
People hate fake personalities more than anything else.
While it’s good to give honest flattery, sucking up or being fake is a turn off. Instead of trying to impress people, let them impress you.
Too often if a conversation comes up and we don’t agree with the opinion or don’t have experience with it, let the person impress upon you their view. Simply saying that is not for me can quickly kill a connection. Instead using tactics like saying, “I never got into that much. What about it do you like so much?”
Things like this keeps the conversation going and while we may not agree, mutual understanding and rapport is built.
The Benefit For All
Each chapter is designed to help you nail the conversation starter, read a person’s body language, understanding facial gestures, or how to get people to listen to you more.
These skills come in very handy in all aspects of life.
Are you looking for a raise?
Do you have a networking event next month?
Do you have employee’s that are struggling in productivity?
Is your wife saying “yes dear” while her eyes say I hope you get hit by a bus?
All these type’s of interactions in life can be improved with training.
Captivate takes you step by step through tips, hacks, and even drawn out maps to navigate.
With these skills you will greatly improve how people perceive you.
Instead of being some person they met at a party, you become the a memory of someone they need to keep in touch with.
These abilities are more than just how people think of you though.
When you put these skills to use, you quickly see how effectively you can control situations better.
With better interaction skills, your employee’s will respond better and work harder.
People will be more drawn to you and what you say. Thereby, willing to do more because the influence you have.