Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Likeability Bias

Sharpen those social skill because you are gonna need them.

Whether your working in an office or on a film set, entertainment industry hours are LONG. Pretty much everyone can expect to be working at least 10 hour days. And isn't it nice when you can have a friend there working along side you? After all, friends inevitably help make the time pass more quickly.

Its a proven fact in this business people prefer to work with people they like. They will gladly pass up an amazingly talented being who isn't such a great communicator, for the loveable so-so worker who is a joy to be around. If someone is bossy or talks about themselves too much or is a straight up creeper, it's almost irrelevant whether or not he is competent. After all, no one would want to work with him! On the other hand, when we like someone, we manage to draw out each of their positive attributes to proclaim them perfectly suitable for the job.

According to Harvard Professor, Tiziana Casciaro, people tend to like other people who are similar to themselves, people who, they are familiar with, people who have reciprocal positive feelings to each other, and people who are inherently attractive, either in their appearance or personality (i.e. considerate, cheerful, generous, and so on). People are also more likely to notice an increase in your likeability, than an increase in your skills. Someone people who lack social competence end up looking like they lack other competencies as well.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

1) BODY LANGUAGE - Remember: tone, voice, and body language account for 90% of communication. When you are listening to someone, maintain steady eye contact and lean in--this shows that you are actively listening and taking in what they have to say. Avoid crossing your arms or slouching, this silently gives off a "keep away" atmosphere.

2) LISTEN - Everybody loves talking about themselves and thus this is probably the most under appreciated social skill. But listening not only allows you to get to know the other person, it also allows for potential paths for conversation.

3) ASK - People love to talk about themselves! Ask them about their background, how they got to be where they are, where they went to school, these are all great conversation starters....and you might realize you have something in common and that can act as a springboard towards friendship!

4) POSITIVITY - Life is so much happier with the glass half full. People prefer to be around those who bring up the energy, not bring it down. Being around cheerful people improves the atmosphere of the work environment and allows for peaceful and happy workflow.

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