How to Make People Like You: 6 Science-Based Conversation Hacks

TIME

So you want to know how to make people like you? It’s easier than you think.

A while back I posted about how to master conversation skills. Here are 6 more research-backed tips:

1) Encourage people to talk about themselves

It gives their brain as much pleasure as food or money:

Talking about ourselves—whether in a personal conversation or through social media sites like Facebook and Twitter—triggers the same sensation of pleasure in the brain as food or money, researchers reported Monday…

“Self-disclosure is extra rewarding,” said Harvard neuroscientist Diana Tamir, who conducted the experiments with Harvard colleague Jason Mitchell. Their findings were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. “People were even willing to forgo money in order to talk about themselves,” Ms. Tamir said.

2) To Give Feedback, Ask Questions

If you use questions to guide people toward the errors in their thinking…

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How Do You Spot a Narcissist? Just Ask

TIME

Narcissus got a bad rap. Sure, the guy was self-absorbed—what with all that staring at his own reflection in a stream. But once he fell in and drowned, well, lesson learned, and he wasn’t around to cause anyone else any grief. But the modern-day people who suffer from the disorder named after him? They’re a whole different matter.

Narcissists are alternately preening, entitled, aggressive, greedy, insensitive, vain, unfaithful, dishonest, lethally charming (a charm you buy at your peril) and sexually exploitative. They may represent merely 1% to 3% of the general population—but that’s only full-blown, capital-N narcissism, the kind formally known as narcissistic personality disorder. There are plenty of other people with lowercase, sub-clinical cases of the condition who can do all kinds of damage—and the odds are very, very good there are at least a few in your life.

How can you learn to recognize a narcissist at a…

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10 Networking Tips That Will Make You a Success

TIME

Everyone needs to network. And I mean everyone.

What determines whether a drug dealer dies or becomes a kingpin? Yup – the size of his network.

Networking is one of the 10 things I recommend people do every week.

Research shows networking is vital to staying employed, salary growth and job satisfaction. It also makes you more likely to land a job.

Via The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference:

In his classic 1974 study Getting a Job, Granovetter…found that 56 percent of those he talked to found their job through a personal connection.

It makes you more likely to be successful at your job.

Via The Happiness Advantage: The Seven Principles of Positive Psychology That Fuel Success and Performance at Work:

MIT researchers…found that the more socially connected the IBM employees were, the better they performed.

It makes you more…

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5 Secrets That Will Help You Master Conversation Skills

TIME

What are the fundamentals of conversation skills?

I’ve posted about the fundamentals of networking, and even how introverts can network but many people have written to me asking about the nitty gritty of conversation skills.

What do you say when you’re face to face?

It’s a good question that isn’t often addressed. First impressions matter even more than you think. And once they’re set, they are very hard to resist.

Let’s break it down:

1) “Be yourself” is often bad advice.

Is “be yourself” the best advice before a job interview? Hell, no. Dress nice, be polite and act enthusiastic no matter what you’re like, right?

What does “be yourself” even mean? You’re not the same person moment to moment. Face it, you can be moody.

Fake it until you make it” works. Does acting a bit in social settings mean you’re dishonest? No.

Research…

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