Connecting Beneath The Surface

• Conversational charm is about connecting genuinely to others. First, get your ego out of the way by suspending judgment and forgetting about agreement or disagreement. Listen actively, pay full attention and avoid the temptation to connect everything they say to yourself!

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• Move slowly and sequentially through the three stages of rapport by making appropriate disclosures to signal trust and willingness to connect. Light disclosure can be an embarrassing tale. Medium disclosure shares your beliefs and deeper feelings. Finally, heavy disclosure is about your more serious vulnerabilities. Don’t be a closed book, but be selective about who you open up to.

• Use connection stories to tell people about who you are – instead of dry facts, share anecdotes that sincerely convey your values as a person.

• You can come across as more charismatic if you show you’re paying attention by labeling the other person’s experience or emotions. Use “it seems like” or “it sounds like” to paraphrase and demonstrate your empathic understanding.

• Finally, don’t be boring! Boring traits are those that downplay fun. In conversations, be relaxed, playful, open and warm, and forego needing to be right or appear smart.

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