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10 Things Highly Personable People Do Differently

10 Things Highly Personable People Do Differently

Some people are just natural-born “people-magnets,” right? Sure, there could be some truth to that because there is a genetic component to our personalities. But a lot of our social behaviors are learned. And the good news is you can always learn new and better behaviors – it’s never too late! Here are 10 things highly personable people do differently:

1. They listen. And I mean REALLY listen.

I teach communication classes for a living. And one of the things I constantly stress is hearing and listening are not the same thing. Hearing is the physiological process of sound waves hitting your ear drum. But listening is actually an active process (we call it “active listening”). It takes work. You have to pay attention, focus, rephrase, ask questions, and remember information – just for starters. However, being a good listener is about much more than remembering what someone said. Listening is a relationship tool, and highly personable people know this. It gives the other person a message about whether you care or not.

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2. They use verbal feedback.

Highly personable people give verbal cues to express they are listening. They say things like “Wow!” or “that’s really interesting” or “amazing!” Expressions of positive words show other people they are definitely being paid attention to. It makes other people feel important.

3. They show empathy.

Many people confuse empathy with sympathy. Sympathy is feeling sorry for another person, whereas empathy is “putting yourself in another person’s shoes” and really trying to identify with his/her experience. When someone doesn’t show empathy for others, it doesn’t make them feel good. Highly empathetic people show genuine concern for everyone.

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4. They ask questions and encourage others to elaborate.

I’m sure we’ve all come home from work or school and had someone ask us how our day was. And if we reply, “Oh it was fine.” And the other person says, “Cool” and then goes on doing whatever he or she was doing, it doesn’t make us think he or she cared enough to ask more. When people ask us questions and want to hear more about us, we like it.

5. Their body language says they care.

Even if people use verbal feedback and ask questions, if they don’t show they really care, then people won’t believe them. Nonverbal communication accounts for about 90% of the meaning of a message. So keep it positive – have direct eye contact, tilt your head (this is a sign of empathy), and minimize distractions (such as your phone).

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6. They remember things about you.

My dad was a very successful dentist. And do you know why? I’m not sure it had anything to do with his skill in dentistry (although I’m sure it was good). He was successful because people liked him. He always took the time to talk to his patients on a personal level. He asked things like, “How is little Ricky doing in school?” or, “How was your vacation to Hawaii?” In other words, he remembered the details of his patients’ lives. And because he did that, they liked him and kept coming back.

7. They use your name when speaking to you.

Directly acknowledging people makes them feel like real human beings. Anyone who has ever been a server or a bartender in a restaurant knows this. There is a big difference between someone saying “Miss! Can I have another drink?” and “Excuse me, Karen? May I please have a refill on my drink? Thank you!” Using people’s names makes them think they are special in your eyes.

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8. They use touch to convey interest.

Touch can convey many things, but interest and connectedness are two of the big ones. Granted, not everyone is comfortable with touch. But a small and brief touch on the arm or shoulder says “I’m with you.” Highly personable people use this technique, and it usually works.

9. They smile, laugh and talk about positive things.

No one likes to be around a “Debbie Downer.” When someone is always complaining or simply exudes negative energy, most people try to avoid him or her. Personable people find humor in life. They are happy – or at least they give off the impression the are happy. They talk about the good stuff going on in their lives, not the negativity. They keep it happy.

10. They make everyone feel good.

Because highly personable people keep it happy, everyone feels good around them! Unlike the “Debbie Downers,” they exude positive energy and literally draw people to them like a magnet. That kind of energy is like a drug to many people – the more they feel it, the more they want to be around it.

If you see a theme here – you’re right. Highly personable people make others feel good! They make others feel important! They keep it positive and happy! It’s actually pretty simple. So if you know someone who might need to brush up on their people skills, try sharing some of these suggestions with them.

More by this author

Carol Morgan

Dr. Carol Morgan is the owner of HerSideHisSide.com, a communication professor, dating & relationship coach, TV personality, speaker, and author.

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Last Updated on February 11, 2021

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

Easily Misunderstood by Others? 6 Barriers You Should Overcome to Make Communication Less Frustrating

How often have you said something simple, only to have the person who you said this to misunderstand it or twist the meaning completely around? Nodding your head in affirmative? Then this means that you are being unclear in your communication.

Communication should be simple, right? It’s all about two people or more talking and explaining something to the other. The problem lies in the talking itself, somehow we end up being unclear, and our words, attitude or even the way of talking becomes a barrier in communication, most of the times unknowingly. We give you six common barriers to communication, and how to get past them; for you to actually say what you mean, and or the other person to understand it as well…

The 6 Walls You Need to Break Down to Make Communication Effective

Think about it this way, a simple phrase like “what do you mean” can be said in many different ways and each different way would end up “communicating” something else entirely. Scream it at the other person, and the perception would be anger. Whisper this is someone’s ear and others may take it as if you were plotting something. Say it in another language, and no one gets what you mean at all, if they don’t speak it… This is what we mean when we say that talking or saying something that’s clear in your head, many not mean that you have successfully communicated it across to your intended audience – thus what you say and how, where and why you said it – at times become barriers to communication.[1]

Perceptual Barrier

The moment you say something in a confrontational, sarcastic, angry or emotional tone, you have set up perceptual barriers to communication. The other person or people to whom you are trying to communicate your point get the message that you are disinterested in what you are saying and sort of turn a deaf ear. In effect, you are yelling your point across to person who might as well be deaf![2]

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The problem: When you have a tone that’s not particularly positive, a body language that denotes your own disinterest in the situation and let your own stereotypes and misgivings enter the conversation via the way you talk and gesture, the other person perceives what you saying an entirely different manner than say if you said the same while smiling and catching their gaze.

The solution: Start the conversation on a positive note, and don’t let what you think color your tone, gestures of body language. Maintain eye contact with your audience, and smile openly and wholeheartedly…

Attitudinal Barrier

Some people, if you would excuse the language, are simply badass and in general are unable to form relationships or even a common point of communication with others, due to their habit of thinking to highly or too lowly of them. They basically have an attitude problem – since they hold themselves in high esteem, they are unable to form genuine lines of communication with anyone. The same is true if they think too little of themselves as well.[3]

The problem: If anyone at work, or even in your family, tends to roam around with a superior air – anything they say is likely to be taken by you and the others with a pinch, or even a bag of salt. Simply because whenever they talk, the first thing to come out of it is their condescending attitude. And in case there’s someone with an inferiority complex, their incessant self-pity forms barriers to communication.

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The solution: Use simple words and an encouraging smile to communicate effectively – and stick to constructive criticism, and not criticism because you are a perfectionist. If you see someone doing a good job, let them know, and disregard the thought that you could have done it better. It’s their job so measure them by industry standards and not your own.

Language Barrier

This is perhaps the commonest and the most inadvertent of barriers to communication. Using big words, too much of technical jargon or even using just the wrong language at the incorrect or inopportune time can lead to a loss or misinterpretation of communication. It may have sounded right in your head and to your ears as well, but if sounded gobbledygook to the others, the purpose is lost.

The problem: Say you are trying to explain a process to the newbies and end up using every technical word and industry jargon that you knew – your communication has failed if the newbie understood zilch. You have to, without sounding patronizing, explain things to someone in the simplest language they understand instead of the most complex that you do.

The solution: Simplify things for the other person to understand you, and understand it well. Think about it this way: if you are trying to explain something scientific to a child, you tone it down to their thinking capacity, without “dumbing” anything down in the process.[4]

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Emotional Barrier

Sometimes, we hesitate in opening our mouths, for fear of putting our foot in it! Other times, our emotional state is so fragile that we keep it and our lips zipped tightly together lest we explode. This is the time that our emotions become barriers to communication.[5]

The problem: Say you had a fight at home and are on a slow boil, muttering, in your head, about the injustice of it all. At this time, you have to give someone a dressing down over their work performance. You are likely to transfer at least part of your angst to the conversation then, and talk about unfairness in general, leaving the other person stymied about what you actually meant!

The solution: Remove your emotions and feelings to a personal space, and talk to the other person as you normally would. Treat any phobias or fears that you have and nip them in the bud so that they don’t become a problem. And remember, no one is perfect.

Cultural Barrier

Sometimes, being in an ever-shrinking world means that inadvertently, rules can make cultures clash and cultural clashes can turn into barriers to communication. The idea is to make your point across without hurting anyone’s cultural or religious sentiments.

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The problem: There are so many ways culture clashes can happen during communication and with cultural clashes; it’s not always about ethnicity. A non-smoker may have problems with smokers taking breaks; an older boss may have issues with younger staff using the Internet too much.

The solution: Communicate only what is necessary to get the point across – and eave your personal sentiments or feelings out of it. Try to be accommodative of the other’s viewpoint, and in case you still need to work it out, do it one to one, to avoid making a spectacle of the other person’s beliefs.[6]

Gender Barrier

Finally, it’s about Men from Mars and Women from Venus. Sometimes, men don’t understand women and women don’t get men – and this gender gap throws barriers in communication. Women tend to take conflict to their graves, literally, while men can move on instantly. Women rely on intuition, men on logic – so inherently, gender becomes a big block in successful communication.[7]

The problem: A male boss may inadvertently rub his female subordinates the wrong way with anti-feminism innuendoes, or even have problems with women taking too many family leaves. Similarly, women sometimes let their emotions get the better of them, something a male audience can’t relate to.

The solution: Talk to people like people – don’t think or classify them into genders and then talk accordingly. Don’t make comments or innuendos that are gender biased – you don’t have to come across as an MCP or as a bra-burning feminist either. Keep gender out of it.

And remember, the key to successful communication is simply being open, making eye contact and smiling intermittently. The battle is usually half won when you say what you mean in simple, straightforward words and keep your emotions out of it.

Reference

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