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“The truth is, no matter what we want in this life, every single thing is learnable.” -Arel Moodie
Arel Moodie is a true rags to riches story. He climbed his way out of the projects in Brooklyn to become a keynote speaker at the White House, a millionaire and one of Inc Magazine’s 30 Under 30. He’s also contributed to Forbes, and delivered a TEDx talk. All on the subject of likability.
He joins The Art of Charm today to share with us what likability is, why it had such an impact on his upward mobility from the projects in Brooklyn and how to cultivate and authentically apply it in your personal and professional life.
Being raised on public assistance and living in the slums of Brooklyn, there wasn’t much opportunity around Arel. The only reason he saw it was possible to be more, do more and have more, was because his mom put him in every possible program the city made available. Over time, he went to affluent neighborhoods and saw people who spoke and looked like him who had wealth and influence. He decided he could and would have it too; he would embody the American Dream.
He learned to connect with people, even when he couldn’t offer them anything other than his undivided interest and his time, that’s what he did. He made people feel their time and energy were so worthwhile, so naturally they gave more. And he discovered taking action on people’s advice was also a key piece of creating a likable relationship with people.
He soon found one of the ultimate keys to success in any connection: understanding people, empathizing, and showing you care about the other person — that is the true essence of likability.
Although he’s certainly got likability down to an art form, he doesn’t rest on his laurels. He believes we can always strive to be better and greater, no matter how good we are at something today. For example, competitive athletes who become known as the best in their game don’t stop practicing because they’re now the best. Not at all! Anyone who is great at anything continues to learn, grow, and push themselves.
So how can we take the art of likability and apply it to our everyday lives? When it comes to business, people buy you. People don’t buy your product or your service, they buy you. People buy from people they know, like, and trust.
To create that bond, you have to get interested in what your customers are interested in. And you can find out what they’re interested in by listening to them for clues. What does your client love? What are they into at the moment? Then find a way to either give them a gift if it’s appropriate or share something about that topic you learn. They’ll appreciate that you cared enough to listen and to think of them.
And in your personal life, Arel gives us a simple way to let someone know you care: imagine every person you meet today has a sign around their necks that read “Make Me Feel Special.” Then ask yourself what you can do to make that person feel special. The more you do this, the better you’ll become at it.
There’s plenty more Arel and I talk about, I hope you’ll listen and digest all the great takeaways…and then start applying them to your life for greater likability and success in every area of your life.
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