Networking and relationships are the building blocks of a successful life. It’s a point we drive home on many of our shows, but how do we do it authentically? How do we create connection through clarity and confidence?
Our guest for today’s show has the answers to all of those questions! Michelle Lederman is an author, speaker, coach and self-professed recovering CPA who writes and speaks on the topics of clarity, confidence, connection, and likability. Listen in for all of this and more on episode 398 of The Art of Charm.
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Michelle Lederman wrote the book on likability, literally! Her 11 Laws of Likability is a guide based on three pillars of great relationships: clarity, confidence, and connection. When these three pillars are in place, you can build likability with the people you meet and interact with, forming solid foundations for lifelong connections.
And it starts with clarity. Michelle says you have to be clear on your intent. What do you want people to think of when they think about you? What impression do you want to leave your next date with or the people you interview with for your next job or promotion? Get clear on that first.
Then move on to confidence. Confidence is one of the most persuasive traits you can possess. But what comes first: the experiences to give you confidence or the feeling of confidence? Although it’s a little like the chicken vs. the egg dilemma, Michelle says you can authentically fake it ’til you make it! While that sounds contradictory, it simply means to really find the authenticity in the acting as if it’s part of the equation. So authentically act as if you are confident, and eventually you will be.
The final piece of the puzzle is connection. Authenticity and likability are obviously important aspects of connection. Have you ever spoken with someone in a seemingly real way only to come away from the conversation realizing they had a mask on? That doesn’t create a bond, and there’s no foundation for a future relationship if the other person never lets you see the real them.
In other words, be authentic. If you aren’t sure if you are authentic with others, you’ll have to spend some time reflecting on this. A great way to reevaluate a conversation or experience later is to ask yourself if you said or did anything just to make the other person happy or comfortable.
If you did, you were being inauthentic. Before beating yourself up about it, simply take a look at why you were inauthentic. Were you concerned with looking good, or were you caught up in your own discomfort? Find out why and then figure out what you can do next time to be real and be yourself. Then go out and do it.
Another great way to be more authentic is to get uncomfortable! Michelle recommends doing so in baby steps and creating small wins for yourself. If you aren’t a super social person, the next time you go out, make small talk with one person. Sure, it will feel uncomfortable and maybe even awkward, but you are stretching yourself and learning more about who you really are.
Michelle recommends doing a new, uncomfortable activity like this 10 times and reflecting on it after each experience. If you still hate doing it after 10 tries, you can stop and try something else.
On this episode, Michelle and I also discuss her three words exercise and how to apply it to your life for more likability, as well as how to maintain relationships once they’re started. Listen in for her golden nuggets of wisdom today and we’ll see you next time on The Art of Charm!
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AJ Harbinger - author of 1111 posts on The Art of Charm
AJ Harbinger is one of the world’s top relationship development experts. His company, The Art of Charm, is a leading training facility for top performers that want to overcome social anxiety, develop social capital and build relationships of the highest quality.
Raised by a single father, AJ felt a strong desire to learn about relationships and the elements that make them successful. However, this interest went largely untapped for many years. Following the path set out for him by his family, AJ studied biology in college and went on to pursue a Ph.D. in Cancer Biology at the University of Michigan. It was at this time that he began to feel immense pressure from the cancer lab he worked in and began to explore other outlets for expression. It was at this point that The Art of Charm Podcast was born.
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