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The Road To Success: Winning Friends, Influencing People and Securing Your Future

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By Mia Bolaris-Forget

Most statistics point to the fact that it’s difficult for most (despite level of education) to find a job. It’s also quite difficult for those who find one to get the salary they want, or the promotion (they feel) they deserve.

While most of us may have grown up with the “old school” philosophy that work is work, not a popularity contest, and that the (only) way to get ahead is to be (and stay) well educated and well informed (about the industry we’re each in), show up a little early, be willing to stay late, and remain productive throughout the day, it now seems that philosophy has been replaced by “work smart, not hard”, and that means knowing how to win friends and influence people. So, I suppose it stands to reason that for all you who excelled (not in academics) but in popularity contests throughout high school and university, well, I guess you can expect to eventually roll in the big bucks, but for the rest of us, a few well kept success secrets to help you not only develop a more magnetic personality and earn a few “brownie” points, but perhaps a few extra dollars too.

1. Make It Part Of Your Nature To Remain Good Natured: First and foremost you want to be able to make friends and influence people….and that is a direct function of your ability to communicate and get along with others. You will want to be polite, cheerful, smile frequently and maintain a pleasant demeanor including tonality, body language, etc.

2. Give Yourself A Significance Booster: How much you are worth often correlates with how much people “perceive” you are needed and that frequently translates into how well you are able to meet the needs of others (both business and “social”). The more “significant” you become, the more people will like and “appreciate” you. According to experts, significance has three stages.

Ø Contact: The closer you literally get to people the more they will “like” you. Carpooling with coworkers, sitting within the same cubicle, or living in the same town or in close proximity to a particular person or group of persons, will make you more “likeable” and therefore more “relevant”.

Ø Commonality: People are most often drawn to others similar to themselves. Interest in the same hobbies, support for the same sports team, attending the same (or even a similar) place of worship increases comradery and builds a sense of community and person respect.

Ø Usefulness: Your significance increases in direct relation to your ability to meet the wants and needs of others. According to experts, you ability to “cater” to others (without complaining) fosters positive attitudes and adds to your appeal.

Professionals point out the to boost your relevance, you should attempt to connect with coworkers on various levels, from office etiquette, to interests and the ability to understand and meet their needs. Make it your business to find out what their fervent interests are outside of the office and be aware of their emotional needs and be ready and willing to address them.

3. Show Compassion: Your ability to demonstrate empathy and the ability to not only respect but see things from the other person’s point of view gives them the impression that you are on their side and offers them psychological hug. By learning to not only listen better, but also to exhibit understanding and a willingness to help, and be emotionally available, you bolster your likeability (or perceived likeability) tremendously.

4. Do a REALITY Check: Be true blue in your values and the way you come across to others. No one appreciates someone who comes across as a “fake”…and being perceived as one is probably among the quickest ways to lose respect and likeability. Experts suggest “keeping it real” by:

Ø Living a purpose driven life

Ø Go after your aspirations and passions

Ø Maintain a positive work attitude and ethic

Ø Be true to your outer identity via your inner identity

Ø Be direct and honest

The bottom line ultimately results in your ability and willingness to embrace others at (often times) face value, and work with and encourage them despite their faults, and challenges and to be able to make them feel good through direct and indirect positive experiences….and according to both fellow employees and employers, that is worth quite a lot.

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