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3 Ways To Be Memorable By Breaking People’s Patterns

3 Ways To Be Memorable By Breaking People’s Patterns

Gasp!

    Life is full of little situations that you encounter regularly.  Some people don’t see these for the opportunities that they are: a chance to stand out, be different, and be memorable.

    They’re a way to quickly built rapport with someone so they can think back later and say “Brian…hmm, yeah he was the guy who does [BLANK]” or “Barbara, oh yeah she is the gal who said [BLANK]”.  You stood out enough to be remembered.

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    By breaking out of your comfort zone and doing something a little different than everyone else you can connect with new people on a regular basis.

    1. How’s it going?This is perhaps one of the most common questions you will here, and everyone gives the same answer.  Instead of saying “fine”, “ok, how about you”, or “keepin busy”, next time try giving some uncommon honesty.  Don’t parrot back your usual response.  Think of something positive, unique, and/or funny that you are doing, and give them a one line summary.  Keeping it positive is key.  You should be bringing smiles to people’s faces, not unloading your baggage or stress.

      To the receptionist: “Today has been crazy, I just closed that deal I’ve been workin on for the last month.  High five!”

      To the checker at the grocery store: “I’ll tell you what man, it’s gonna be going a lot better after I eat this sandwhich, I’m starving!”

      To the cab driver: “Stupendous!” 

    2. The HandshakeAnother common pattern we all go through is the handshake.  Why not do it a little differently?One of my favorites to do in a social setting (especially with someone you just met recently) is to go for the hug instead of the handshake.

      They will put out their hand.  Just stare it for a second as if you are confused and then open you arms wide and say “I think I’d like a hug instead” with a big smile.  People will crack up laughing and instantly you have a connection.

      When everyone is going around the circle doing a handshake and it finally comes to you, you can also give them “the rock” to stand out.  The rock is when you make a fist and bump it with the other person’s fist.  This is a pop culture thing common among younger folks but it can also be humorous and help you stand out. Now you two have an inside joke.

      If you are in a business setting, you can still do variations on the handshake to stand out.  Try coming in wide from the outside with a little bit of a sweeping motion.  Or bringing in your left hand too for a “double” (send the left hand up to his/her forearm for extra rapport).  These will also show confidence and charm if done correctly.

    3. What do you do?  Where are you from?These are the two most common questions in small talk.  Come up with good answers to them that help you stand out.The key to a good answer is that it provides little pieces of information that would be easy for them to ask a follow up question about.

      For example, if someone asks “What do you do?”, you could say:  “Well, I’m an accountant”.  Then there would be an awkward silence as the person tries to think of what to talk about next.

      Or….you can say something like “Well, when I finished up school I decided to try working for XYZ company, but I realized after about 30 seconds that I didn’t want to do that, so I got into ABC.  But honestly that’s just what I do for a job, what I really love doing is DEF and GHI so I do that pretty much every weekend.” 

      Now they have lots of places to take the conversation.  They could ask you about what school you graduated from, your hobbies, why you didn’t like XYZ, etc.  It’s uncommonly candid and gives them a better picture of your life.

      The same goes for the dreaded “Where are you from?”.  Give a miniature story in your answer with some interesting details they can follow up on.

    Are there any other ways you like to stand out in people’s minds, build an instant connection, and break patterns? Leave a comment below!

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    Last Updated on April 6, 2020

    10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

    10 Powerful Ways to Influence People Positively

    Most discussions on positively influencing others eventually touch on Dale Carnegie’s seminal work, How to Win Friends and Influence People. Written more than 83 years ago, the book touches on a core component of human interaction, building strong relationships. It is no wonder why.

    Everything that we do hinges on our ability to connect with others and formulate deep relationships. You cannot sell a house, buy a house, advance in most careers, sell a product, pitch a story, teach a course, etc. without building healthy relationships. Managers get the best results from their teams, not through brute force, but to careful appeals to their sensibilities, occasional withdrawals from the reservoir of respect they’ve built. Using these tactics, they can influence others to excellence, to productivity, and to success.

    Carnegie’s book is great. Of course, there are other resources too. Most of us have someone in our lives who positively influences us. The truth is positively influencing people is about centering the humanity of others. Chances are, you know someone who is really good at making others feel like stars. They can get you to do things that the average person cannot. Where the requests of others sound like fingernails on a chalkboard, the request from this special person sounds like music to your ears. You’re delighted to not only listen but also to oblige.

    So how to influence people in a positive way? Read on for tips.

    1. Be Authentic

    To influence people in a positive way, be authentic. Rather than being a carbon copy of someone else’s version of authenticity, uncover what it is that makes you unique.

    Discover your unique take on an issue and then live up to and honor that. Once of the reasons social media influencers are so powerful is that they have carved out a niche for themselves or taken a common issue and approached it from a novel or uncommon way. People instinctually appreciate people whose public persona matches their private values.

    Contradictions bother us because we crave stability. When someone professes to be one way, but lives contrary to that profession, it signals that they are confused or untrustworthy and thereby, inauthentic. Neither of these combinations bode well for positively influencing others.

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    2. Listen

    Growing up, my father would tell me to listen to what others said. He told me if I listened carefully, I would know all I needed to know about a person’s character, desires and needs.

    To positively influence others, you must listen to what is spoken and what is left unsaid. Therein lies the explanation for what people need in order to feel validated, supported and seen. If a person feels they are invisible, and unseen by their superiors, they are less likely to be positively influenced by that person.

    Listening meets a person’s primary need of validation and acceptance.

    Take a look at this guide on how to be a better listener: How to Practice Active Listening (A Step-By-Step Guide)

    3. Become an Expert

    Most people are predisposed to listen to, if not respect, authority. If you want to positively influence others, become an authority in the area in which you seek to lead others. Research and read everything you can about the given topic, and then look for opportunities to put your education into practice.

    You can argue over opinions. You cannot argue, or it is unwise to argue, over facts and experts come with facts.

    4. Lead with Story

    From years of working in the public relations space, I know that personal narratives, testimonials and impact stories are incredibly powerful. But I never cease to be amazed with how effective a well-timed and told story can be.

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    If you want to influence people, learn to tell stories. Your stories should be related to the issue or concept you are discussing. They should be an analogy or metaphor that explains your topic in ordinary terms and in vivid detail. To learn more about how to tell powerful stories, and the ethics of storytelling, take a look at this article: How To Tell An Interesting Story In 4 Simple Steps

    5. Lead by Example

    It is incredibly inspiring to watch passionate, talented people at work or play. One of the reasons a person who is not an athlete can be in awe of athletic prowess is because human nature appreciates the extraordinary. When we watch the Olympics, Olympic trials, gymnastic competitions, ice skating, and other competitive sports, we can recognize the effort of people who day in and day out give their all. C

    ase in point: Simone Biles. The gymnast extraordinaire won her 6TH all-around title at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships after doing a triple double. She was the first woman to do so. Watching her gave me chills. Even non-gymnasts and non-competitive athletes can appreciate the talent required to pull off such a remarkable feat.

    We celebrate remarkable accomplishments and believe that their example is proof that we too can accomplish something great, even if it isn’t qualifying for the Olympics. To influence people in a positive way, we must lead by example, lead with intention and execute with excellence.

    6. Catch People Doing Good

    A powerful way to influence people in a positive way is to catch people doing good. Instead of looking for problems, look for successes. Look for often overlooked, but critically important things that your peers, subordinates and managers do that make the work more effective and more enjoyable.

    Once you catch people doing good, name and notice their contributions.

    7. Be Effusive with Praise

    It did not take me long to notice a remarkable trait of a former boss. He not only began and ended meetings with praise, but he peppered praise throughout the entire meeting. He found a way to celebrate the unique attributes and skills of his team members. He was able to quickly and accurately assess what people were doing well and then let them and their colleagues know.

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    Meetings were not just an occasion to go through a “To Do” list, they were opportunities to celebrate accomplishments, no matter how small they are.

    8. Be Kind Rather Than Right

    I am going to level with you; this one is tough. It is easy to get caught up in a cycle of proving oneself. For people who lack confidence, or people who prioritize the opinions of others, being right is important. The validation that comes with being perceived as “right” feeds one’s ego. But in the quest to be “right,” we can hurt other people. Once we’ve hurt someone by being unkind, it is much harder to get them to listen to what we’re trying to influence them to do.

    The antidote to influencing others via bullying is to prioritize kindness above rightness. You can be kind and still stand firm in your position. For instance, many people think that they need others to validate their experience. If a person does not see the situation you experienced in the way you see it, you get upset. But your experience is your experience.

    If you and your friends go out to eat and you get food poisoning, you do not need your friends to agree that the food served at the restaurant was problematic for you. Your own experience of getting food poisoning is all the validation you need. Therefore, taking time to be right is essentially wasted and, if you were unkind in seeking validation for your food-poison experience, now you’ve really lost points.

    9. Understand a Person’s Logical, Emotional and Cooperative Needs

    The Center for Creative Leadership has argued that the best way to influence others is to appeal to their logical, emotional and cooperative needs. Their logical need is their rational and educational need. Their emotional need is the information that touches them in a deeply personal manner. The cooperative need is understanding the level of cooperation various individuals need and then appropriately offering it.

    The trick with this system is to understand that different people need different things. For some people, a strong emotional appeal will outweigh logical explanations. For others, having an opportunity to collaborate will override emotional connection.

    If you know your audience, you will know what they need in order to be positively influenced. If you have limited information about the people whom you are attempting to influence, you will be ineffective.

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    10. Understand Your Lane

    If you want to positively influence others, operate from your sphere of influence. Operate from your place of expertise. Leave everything else to others. Gone are the days when being a jack of all trades is celebrated.

    Most people appreciate brands that understand their target audience and then deliver on what that audience wants. When you focus on what you are uniquely gifted and qualified to do, and then offer that gift to the people who need it, you are likely more effective. This effectiveness is attractive.

    You cannot positively influence others if you are more preoccupied by what others do well versus what you do well.

    Final Thoughts

    Influencing people is about centering your humanity. If you want to influence others positively, focus on the way you communicate and improve the relationship with yourself first.

    It’s hard to influence others if you’re still trying to figure out how to communicate with yourself.

    More Tips About Making Influence

    Featured photo credit: Wonderlane via unsplash.com

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