How To Improve Your Likability To Make Quick Connections

“Good communication is as stimulating as black coffee, and just as hard to sleep after.” ~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh

How To Become Likeable Quickly

Try and remember the last time you really liked someone you met, what was it that attracted you to them? Some people just have that certain aura about them. That little something, that when they walk into a room you immediately feel drawn to them.

To me a person like Michael Jordan is one of those people. Even if you knew nothing about basketball, if Michael walked into the room, his smile would make you think, who is that? That has to be somebody?

Your level of success in this world deals with how well you relate to everything around you, and being able to connect with others is vital to a fulfilling life. If people get a good vibe from you, they will feel natural, comfortable, and will be inclined to like you. Sure first impressions of how you look play a big part but it has more to do how you make others feel around you.

The attitude of a likable person says “I am ready to connect” but easy going at the same time. They are welcoming and friendly without being over eager. Now more than ever you need to have the ability to connect quickly.  In our fast paced rapidly changing world the only thing we don’t have enough of, is time, the time to make genuine connections.

In a blink of an eye we make an assessment whether we like someone or not. By being likable you will get someone’s initial attention and with your ability to build rapport will hold onto his attention.

Your Initial Likability Will Come Down To

  1. Your Presence: this is what you look like, how you dress, and your swagger.
  2. Your Attitude: Your attitude will determine how interesting you appear to others. Your attitude affects what you say and how you say it.
  3. How do you make people feel?

Some of the connection skills that I will be discussing should be used only when you need them, we are not trying to change your personality. The goal is to simply  get others to have a glimpse of your personality quickly, to increase the chances for an opportunity to connect.

First Impressions:

With peoples attention spans shorter than ever, you only have a few seconds to create a sincere, safe, and trustworthy feeling in someone that can transition into a rapport building opportunity.

The Greeting: This is the first few seconds you have to make a good impression. Keep the following things in mind when greeting someone:

  • Be open: Be inviting by having open body language and positive attitude.
  • Eye contact: Project your positive attitude through your eyes.
  • Smile: make people feel at ease with a genuine and sincere smile.
  • Hello: Get out of your comfort zone, be the first to introduce yourself. Watch your tonality, refrain from being over eager.
  • Lean: this is just a very subtle forward tilt; this lets the other person know you are open and willing to connect.
  • The Handshake: Make it a point to make it firm and respectful. If you don’t handshake practice doing the “hand’s free handshake” in your mind, focus on sending your positive vibe through your minds intent.

(Example) At the air port: I have an upbeat and positive attitude; I make eye contact with someone who is waiting for a flight. I project my friendly open attitude through my eyes and show a gradual warm smile. I say hello, and as I lean forward introduce myself and give a respectful handshake.

Establishing Rapport

Now that you have gotten someone’s attention, you will need to establish rapport, to hold their attention. Building rapport is simply being able to find common ground to allow a social exchange to flow easily. Finding common ground allows for both people to be engaged. You will gain the person’s positive acceptance of you, you will have them thinking “I know I don’t know you, but I like you so I will trust you with my attention”.

Establishing Rapport Quickly Will Depend on Four Things:

  1. Your Attitude
  2. Your ability to “synchronize” certain aspects of behavior like your body language and voice tone.
  3. Your conversation skills: Being able to ask interesting or observant open ended questions.
  4. Your ability to discover if other person prefers one sense over the other. How do they prefer to experience the world, are they a visual, auditory, or kinesthetic person.

With time and practice you will become very good at establishing rapport with almost anyone and anywhere. One time on a lay over, I sat next to a beautiful woman on her way to Italy. As soon as I sat down I Introduced myself, before the plane even took off I had established common ground, once in the air we where sharing meals and joking around. By making her feel good and comfortable she was very open, I was able to find out many things from this very interesting person on our 10 hour flight. Even though we only met on the flight we are friends who still stay in touch with each other because we made a genuine connection.

Seeing The World Through The Eyes of Others

When you can imagine being in the other persons shoes you will make them feel that on some level you understand them. When learning to establish rapport with strangers, the key is learning how to become like them just long enough to make a connection. I am a pretty observant person; so I am able to make a connection with someone just by noticing their subtleties and commenting on them.

By being observant you will catch the subtleties in the way a person appears to be – the way he is dressed, body language, tone of voice, language, etc. Which will help you to imagine placing yourself in their shoes. This will help you read how the person is feeling, thereby an idea of what approach to use when trying to communicate effectively. When I pick up subtleties, I will know what topics, questions, and general interests appeal to the person, giving me information to win that person as a friend.

How To Become Likeable: Attitude Is Everything

Your attitude influences your mind, and your mind influences your body language, voice tone, thoughts, and spoken words. If you are not aware of your attitude you will not be aware of the vibe you are sending off. Without awareness your body has a mind of its own, it will play out the patterns of behavior of whatever attitude you are entertaining.

Useful Attitudes: Below are some useful attitudes that are conducive to making quick connections with someone.

  • Enthusiastic, warm, relaxed, welcoming, interested, confident, laid back, curious, cheery. Think about when you meet someone who is extremely confident, they make you feel confident by just being in their presence. With time you will also become confident, if confident people constantly surround you. This is why it is important who you choose to spend your time with. Over time we all adopt the attitudes of the people around us. Choose to be the one who constantly uplifts and makes people feel comfortable by the attitude you practice.

Body Language

Be constantly aware of you body language, strive to practice open and inviting body language. Open positions can consist of knees apart, legs stretched out, elbows away from body, hands not touching, legs uncrossed, etc., and closed positions of legs crossed at either knees or ankles, hands folded on lap, arms crossed, etc. People with open body positions are perceived more positively than those with closed body positions. People who display open body language tend to be more persuasive than those with closed constricted gestures.

Fidgeting is another negative gesture that will make the other person feel uncomfortable. Just keep in mind that physical messages often send a much louder message that spoken words. Think of the time you made your spouse upset, she is clearly very upset and when you ask her is anything wrong, she responds “I’m Fine!” Her words say she is fine, but her body language say’s please get out of here before I explode.

To get others to trust you need to make sure you are congruent. What you say, how you say it, and what your body language says must be in agreement. Watch that your words, tonality, and gestures are all saying the same thing. Think about the sleazy snake oil salesman, his words, body language are not saying the same thing and you can feel that he is not to be trusted. Be on the lookout for incongruity in others, how does it make you feel when you become aware of it. Your gestures are a giveaway to what you really mean.

Over Eagerness

One of the quickest ways to turn away someone you want to connect with is by being overly eager. This means don’t try and smile too hard, don’t try to be too witty. Just be yourself no need to be overly polite, resist the temptation to be patronizing.

As you become more comfortable in meeting anyone,  you will gradually become more at ease with your own personality. The unique aspects of your personality will come out naturally, and people will notice. You will have more conscious control and confidence in building rapport.


This is the ability to adopt to others behaviors, essentially getting on their wave length to make it possible for a meaningful exchange to occur.

  • Tilting and nodding your head: When done properly, it tells the person that you are paying attention.
  • Facial Expressions: Open friendly expressions show agreement and understanding. Closed constricted facial expressions show confusion and frustration.
  • Breathing: Pay attention to the rhythm of their breathing. Try and synchronize with their breathing, this makes you feel like you are on the same wavelength as the other person.
  • Tone: Try and feel the emotions of the other person, so that you can emit the same tonality.
  • Volume: Is the person loud or quiet? Adjust your volume so that it matches the person.
  • Speed: Does the person speak slow or fast? Someone who is a slow talker will feel uncomfortable speaking with a fast talker.
  • Words: What type of words or slang is the person comfortable with? Knowing this can be very powerful in getting some to feel at ease with you.

Things to keep in mind during a conversation:

  • Focus on understanding
  • Sum up at major intervals
  • Ask questions for clarity
  • Suspend your judgment
  • Look at the speaker

Always be aware of your internal dialogue, don’t judge people, and always have a healthy social-friendly internal dialogue. People will see you as a charismatic person, because you are keeping your ego in check by constantly monitoring your internal dialogue.

“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.” Epictetus

Questions and Listening

Now that you have made a connection, developed rapport, it’s on to have a good conversation. To have a good conversation ask open ended questions: Who, what, when, why, where, and how?

Good rule of thumb is to listen twice more than you talk. Listening requires more than pretending to listen or simply hearing a person talk. Listening and hearing are two completely different things and the person can tell if you’re really listening to them, or simply hearing them speak Being a good listener is a skill, you must become an active listener. It’s all about the other person, who cares if you don’t get to talk about yourself.

If you’re an effective listener, you will gain a better understanding of that person’s thoughts, perspectives, feelings and actions. Take this as an opportunity to become more persuasive and influential.

The problem with most people is that listening doesn’t have much value to them. They feel that in order to get people to like them they must do a great deal of the talking. When you meet someone for the first time you are completely foreign to them. People are usually not interested in things they don’t understand, and that includes you. To get someone to be interested in knowing you, you must first talk about things that interest them. As soon as they feel that you understand or relate to them, they will become more curious about getting to know you too.

Think about that for a minute, how do you like it when another person is talking so much that when you try and say something they keep talking. You eventually quit listening to that person because you got too annoyed. Sometimes you don’t need to do most of the listening; you constantly need to evaluate the situation. Sometimes people really want to hear what you have to say. In this situation, turn the question around on them to get them involved.

“To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Anthony Robbins

It’s All In The Eyes

If the person you meet see’s, hears, or feels the world in a different way than you do, you will need to learn how to plug into his or her wave length. Eye movements can indicate can how a person is thinking, than you can cater your message to suite their preference. If you pay attention you can see if they are imagining a future or past event, internally re-hearing a sound, talking to themselves, or paying attention to their feelings.

let’s say, you are explaining something to someone and they say they do not understand. If the person is looking up to either the left or the right, this indicates they are trying to visualize. This could be mean that you might be need demonstrate what you mean, rather than verbally explaining it. Visual people need to see what you mean. When we look to the left, we are typically remembering information. Looking to the right means we are constructing it in our minds.

Below are the ‘standard’ eye movement directions discovered  by NLP (neuro linguistic programming) co-developers John Grinder and Richard Bandler.

(Imagine this diagram superimposed on the person’s face. So their Visual Construct direction is to YOUR left as you face them.) Note: this chart describes the tendencies of a right handed person.

Vc  – Visual constructed Vr  – Visual remembered
Ac  – Auditory constructed V – Visual Constructed/ Remembered Ar  – Auditory remembered
K  – Kinaesthetic Aid  – Auditory digital







Quick Reminders:

Visuals: People who are more visual in nature tend to talk very fast.

Kinesthetic: They tend to talk slowly.

Auditory: People who prefer to hear, usually fall somewhere in the middle.

Thank you for reading my article on how to become likeable quickly, I hope you found it useful. Get out there meet some people, connect and share something new with the world. Maybe one day when I am waiting for my flight you will be the one to approach me, I look forward to it. Keep growing, keep evolving, and keep shining my friend – Ivan

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8 Responses to How To Improve Your Likability To Make Quick Connections

  1. very interesting blog…some serious things to think about…I myself have no problems talking to strangers about their animals but outside of that I can be lost and am working hard at it…it is becoming easier but your ideas were very helpfull

  2. Great blog! Oddly enough I have found it easier to connect with people since dying my hair different colors (pink, purple, red,etc) I make it a goal to engage someone in a conversation with them laughing every time i go out. Bookmarking this though.

    Alana’s last blog post..Tacky

    • that was awesome 🙂 thanks for sharing…your hair is amazing 🙂 i know i would have made a comment 🙂

  3. My friend, thanks once more for these tips, I’ll make sure to keep those in mind and just be like I am, but now, more aware than I was months ago. One cannot be happy alone…

    Take care everyone

    Pedro Mota’s last blog post..: a new dawn

  4. Wow, that’s an information packed post, Ivan! I’m a fan of Tony Robbins also, and I’ve always thought his writings on communication were some of the strongest sections of his books.

    So much of communication hinges on whether the other person really feels that you understand them. You can know a person for years, but they may never feel that you really understand them. However, if you have a single conversation about something deeply important to them and express understanding, they will feel as if you’ve known them your entire life.

    The best way to hit upon such subjects is to vary your conversation topics until you get a deeply emotional reaction. When you see their facial expression change, you know you’ve hit a good topic to talk about more.

    Great tips!

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