Mike Coady - Coady Performance Group

The number one area people focus on when meeting someone for the first time if if they can trust them. After all, if you can’t trust somebody you’re very unlikely to like them.

The decision of whether somebody likes you or not is almost entirely unconsciously, and it usually comes down to how well you can balance conveying two things: warmth and competence.

I have listed below the 15 social skills that without doubt will make you more popular.


  1. Eye contact

Those that make eye contact are consistently judged as more intelligent. Eye contact is an easy and effective way to convey competence.


  1. Smile

Don’t underestimate the power of your smile… it’s a simple, no skill required and effective way to convey warmth. Add in a few laughs, as people unconsciously copy the body language of the person they are in conversation with.


  1. Charisma

Along with the smile, throw in a bit of charisma. Charisma is simply contagious, and this effect will create a warm feeling about you even after the conversation has ended.


  1. No telephones!

Do not use or play with your phone when in a conversation! You will learn from the following points that your full attention is required in order to give someone a positive feeling about you.

This is another effortless, no skill required habit, so incorporate it ASAP.


  1. The handshake…

A good handshake is a sign of confidence. Not too hard, and definitely not too soft. A handshake is most often than not the first thing you do when you meet somebody. It plays a big part of the first minute or so whilst the person you are talking with makes their “unconscious” decision about you.


  1. Names

Get the name right and say it! Beginning, mid-conversation or at the end makes everyone feel good when they hear their name. It means a lot of things, however the most important one is that they made the effort to remember your name during the 5 seconds of being introduced to you.

If you find this difficult to do, think up a strategy that may work for you. Sometimes images or name rhymes work. I find that the more you repeat the name in conversation, it sticks. I know some people that write the names in their phones with a brief description so that they remember. There are many tools, and this is a real good habit to have, so choose you strategy and implement it.


  1. Don’t just listen — actively listen

Always listen more than you speak. People like to feel that they are interesting. The more you talk about yourself, the less appealing you come across and the shorter the conversation will be.

Simply hearing words doesn’t cut it. Likeable people show that they’re listening to the person they’re talking to.

Active listening requires four steps: hearing, interpreting, evaluating, and responding.


  1. Accepting compliments

This is one that majority of people struggle with. If you haven’t nailed this social skill yet, you are either coming across shy and socially awkward or egotistical, and if I am honest, I’m not sure which is worse!

My tip would be to always add a “pick up” phrase after the thank you. I.e. “Thanks! Glad you noticed” or “thank you, I’ve never done it before”.


  1. Rubbing the belly…

Flattery grabs people directly by their ego and is therefore extremely effective – seriously, this one works every time!!

Although it works every time, it also carries the biggest risk, as you don’t want to seem “cheesy”, so you must get the balance right and be genuine.


  1. Say you’re sorry

Of course, taking accountability for your mistakes is instrumental in changing someone’s bad impression of you. But an “I’m sorry” when you’re not to blame for something can also be surprisingly helpful.

Saying “I’m sorry” when someone tells you about something bad that happened to them is an effective way to show that you’re putting yourself in their shoes and are trying to relate. This further strengthens the trust.


  1. Body Language

Body language and posture is everything, so stand and sit up straight. Shoulders back, and chin level with the floor.

Body language is a very powerful skill, if you have a bad posture you can come across as unapproachable or lazy. This can be very negative, as nobody will approach you, and you instantly fall into the “unlikeable” group.


  1. Don’t complain

Whatever you do, do not be a Debbie Downer!! Negative attitudes, and having a bad word to say is an extreme turn off. Being around negative conversations is 100% draining, and people avoid it at all costs.

If you don’t agree or like something, change the subject – quick!


  1. Make everyone feel included

Not only can it be intimidating walking in a room of people you don’t know, but feeling alone makes it all that bit worse. When in conversation, include everyone paying attention. Talk and make eye contact with everyone.

Everybody wants to fill included.


  1. Don’t jump to conclusions

Sometimes, our brains can cause us to jump to conclusions about people. This can cause us to become more closed off. In order to avoid getting the wrong impression of anyone.

The problem with making a ‘snap judgement’ is we make them with a ‘low level structure’ in our brain. This implies that little reasoning is employed when we initially attribute character traits to someone.


  1. End a conversation right

Your final words can leave a lasting impression on a person, so use them right.

Make your last communication a nice and positive statement.

Again, this does not require any skill set, however will make all the difference.

So there you have my 15 social skills that will make you more popular. Review and incorporate those that you don’t already do, and you will definitely be more popular at social gatherings.


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Blog published by Mike Coady.

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