Cash in on the Universal Law of Human Behavior

blue-silk-tie-3pcs-349Let me start off by making a very bold statement. There is a law of human behavior that works every time. It never fails. There are no exceptions. It will work with rebellious teenagers, nagging wives, uncaring husbands, demeaning bosses, obstinate employees, or annoying neighbors. When you use this law you will get others to admire and respect you. You will get others to want to help you get what you want. You will convert your enemies into friends. You will get other people to do what you want them to do. Interested?

The Universal Law at work

Several years ago I had an experience that taught me this great lesson of human behavior. I had just finished a large software development project for an RV park and campground. It was a new reservation system and it required me to spend several days at the campground installing the software and training the employees how to use it.

One day as I was working behind the reservation desk a very large and expensive motorhome pulled up to the campground office. An older woman stepped out of the motorhome and came in to the office. She was an elegant and well-dressed woman. One look at her and you could tell she was a lady of class.

It wasn’t my job but since I was at the computer I offered to help her. As I pulled up her reservation information on the computer she stopped me for a moment and said, “Where did you get that lovely tie? It looks so good on you and matches your eyes.” She kept going on and on about my tie and insisted on knowing where I bought it. I was embarrassed to tell her I bought it at the local Kmart store. I thought she would laugh at me but no, she even wanted to know where the Kmart store was because she wanted to buy a tie just like it for her husband.

Now to you this may sound like some silly little incident that’s not even worth mentioning. It shouldn’t be worth mentioning except for the amazing effect it had on me that day. First of all, what kind of service do you suppose I gave that lady? Excellent service, that’s for sure! I made sure every little detail was taken care of for her. And for the entire rest of that day I simply felt wonderful and had a big smile on my face. Even now, over 15 years later, I can remember that incident like it was yesterday. And guess what, I still really like that lady!

Why does this law work?

So what happened there? What was it about that little incident that had such power over me? For Pete’s sake, a lady simply complimented me on my silly Kmart tie and my day was transformed! How could that be?

Whether she knew it or not, this woman used a proven law of human behavior. It is a law as universal as is Newton’s law of gravity. It is as much a part of man as his heart or his brain. It is this:

Every person in the world has a deep and burning desire, even an insatiable craving—to be liked, to be respected, to feel important.

The woman at the campground simply gave me what I craved the most and I became putty in her hands. I was ready to do whatever it took to satisfy her needs and make her happy.

Once you know the law, use it!

Now that you know what this law is, why don’t you do something with it? Why don’t you use this basic human drive in your daily relationships with other people? Once you know how to satisfy their longing for importance you will find your own influence with them rising greatly.

I believe in this statement by Les Giblin:

You want to make a good impression with the other fellow. But the most effective way ever discovered for impressing the other fellow is to let him know that you are impressed by him.

When you consider the remarkable consequences that can result from the littlest things, like a kind word, a pat on the shoulder, a smile, a tip of the hat, a simple complement, wouldn’t it be well to incorporate those things into your daily interactions with others?

You have the power within you

You have the power to give people what they crave: the feeling of importance, to be appreciated, to be noticed. Like the lady at the campground, it doesn’t cost you a dime to give it out. You don’t have to fear that you’ll use it all up. You have a never ending supply of it. Learn to use this great power and others will have a tremendous desire to help you get what you want. They will remember you for years with high regard because of how you made them feel. You have the power. Use it!

How to Use Emotional Connections to Influence Others

PersonalityWe Are Emotional Beings

You need to understand one basic trait of human beings and it is this:

Humans are not logical creatures.

People don’t usually base their actions and decisions on logic. We humans are more influenced by emotion than reason or good judgment. Our emotions are what drive us. We are emotional beings much more so than logical beings.

Being emotional beings, we want our emotions fed. It is amazing what people will do to satisfy their emotional needs with little regard to logic. When you see people doing things that looks incredibly stupid, they are generally doing it to fill an emotional need. When you watch the evening news or pick up the newspaper you will come across story after story of people doing what appear to be strange and illogical things such as bank robberies, car chases, drug use, embezzlement and every other kind of crazy thing. All of these people are doing these things to fulfill unmet emotional needs.

How Can This Help?

How does knowing this help you? Let’s think about it. If you are trying to influence someone and the only tool you are using is logic, in nearly every case you will fail. However, when you have an emotional connection with that person, even the weakest of logical arguments can succeed. If you can connect with someone emotionally then your power to influence them is vastly improved.

Making Emotional Connections

So how do you make emotional connections with people? There are a number of ways. Let’s talk about one powerful one. The more you know about someone, the more you will be able to connect with them emotionally and therefore you are able to influence them.

By taking the time to learn about another person you gain two things. First it helps you understand that person; where they are coming from and what makes them tick. Secondly, it lets them know that you care about them and are interested in them.

For example, imagine a person you only casually know who comes up to you and calls you by name and asks about the details of your life that aren’t generally known. You can’t help but be impressed and flattered. When they ask you about your job or your family or your hobbies and interests, it’s obvious they have taken an interest in you. You look at that person in a different light. You feel a connection with that person.

My Challenge to You

This is my challenge to you. Think about the people you must deal with and those you need to influence. This could be your boss at work, your spouse, your children, your neighbor or your banker. What I want you to do is play the role of private investigator and begin to learn all you can about that person – details that the average person wouldn’t know. Write them down. Create a file on them if you have to. Do they play tennis? Do they have children? What are their names? What does this person do in his or her leisure time? Where did they attend high school or college?

Then the next time you are with them you can use this information to build that emotional connection. Ask about their children by name. “How is Jennifer enjoying being a cheerleader?” or “How is Jonny doing with Little League baseball?” You will be amazed how they will light up when you talk about their interests.

What it does is build up an emotional connection between you and them. Then when it comes time that you need their assistance or you need to influence them in some way, you will have a much easier time of it.

We All Have the Need

We all have an incredible need to be validated emotionally. We want to fit in, to belong, to be liked. When someone fills those needs we are much more willing to accept their ideas. We are more willing to trust them and want to please them, and yes, even be influenced by them.

6 Tips to Develop Self-Confidence with Others

Self-Condidence

Are you the kind of person who struggles in social settings? Are you shy and tend to stand in the background? Do you run from social situations because they are scary and uncomfortable for you?

You may have seen other people that seem to project self-confidence. They appear to have no problem in any social situation. They make friends easily and seem to be able to connect with others. How do they do it?

Today I’m going to share 6 ways to help you develop confidence with others. If you follow these six simple tips you will begin to feel more confident with yourself and more comfortable in social settings. There is no magic here, just six simple tips. Here they are:

Tip Number 1: Be a Front-Row-Seater

When you attend any function such as a meeting, seminar, or class where there is a large group of people, what is the first row of seats that fill up? The back row! It seems like most everyone wants to be in the back, out of the way, unobtrusive, and unnoticed. They want to just slide into the back unobserved. You need to change that attitude. You need to be a front-row-seater.

Let’s face it; outgoing, confident people don’t sit on the back row. You will find those people sitting on the front row and that’s where you should be also. It’s a signal of your willingness to jump in and be a part of the situation. Sitting on the front row may be uncomfortable at first but it puts you right up there with the important people. Another benefit isthat you are better able to contribute to the meeting or discussion than if you are sitting in the back. So that’s my first suggestion is to be a front-row-seater.

Tip Number 2: Make eye contact

Have you noticed that shy people rarely look you in the eye? When you walk past them they tend to avoid you and look the other way. It’s very uncomfortable for them to look you in the eye. This usually happens because they are afraid to engage you, meaning if they acknowledge you in any way then they may have to actually say something to you. It’s easier and safer to pretend they don’t see you.

Maybe you are that kind of person and have that same problem. Maybe you don’t even notice it. Pay attention to how you react when you pass someone on the sidewalk or in the hallway at work. Do you look the other person in the eye and make eye contact? If not then you have some work to do.

If you want to convey the message that you are a self-assured and confident person then you need to practice looking others in the eye. Don’t be afraid of the other person. Acknowledge that you see they are there. I’m not saying you should stare them down or that it should be some sort of confrontation, but that it should be a friendly gaze into the other person’s eye.

Tip Number 3: Walk 25% faster

I’ve noticed that there are some people who walk extremely slow. It’s amazing how slow some people walk. I don’t even know how they can walk so slowly. My body doesn’t even go that slow. They just sort of plod along as if they were pulling a 200 pound weight behind them, dragging from one place to the next. It’s frustrating sometimes to get stuck behind slow moving people! When a snail has to tell you to get out of road, then you know you’re going too slow!

When you see someone like this, what are your thoughts? I don’t know about you but I have a hard time not thinking of them in negative terms, like they are aimlessly going nowhere. I’m ashamed to admit that the term “loser” crosses my mind a time or two.

But when you see someone walking briskly with their shoulders straight, their head up and they are moving forward as if nothing is going to stop them, you get the impression that they are a person that has confidence in themselves and are going places in life.

So my tip is to walk 25% faster than you normally walk. When I say 25% faster, I don’t mean that you should get a pedometer and measure exactly your walking speed and then increase it by 25 %. What I mean is for you to make sure you walk briskly with confidence, like you have somewhere important to be. Walk like you have meaning and direction in your life.

Tip Number 4: Speak Up!

You may not be aware of it but many times when we speak to each other we speak in barely audible tones. Have you noticed that people who are confident and seem to be going somewhere speak up, speak clearly and speak loudly? Again it’s a message of confidence. It’s a message of “I’m not afraid to speak up. I have a healthy self-image. I have something important to say and I’m not just going to mumble it or say something under my breath, but I’m going to speak up and be heard!” So speak up!

Tip Number 5: Smile and smile big

There are some people who seem to carry the whole world on their shoulders. They have a perpetual cloud over their head and a sour expression on their face. They make you wonder what kind of sad, miserable life they live.

Then there are those who go around with a permanent smile on their face. They are friendly and confident and cheerful. They look you in the eye and say “Hello!”

Think about which kind of people you like to be around. Are they the ones that always have a grim look on their face or those that have a smile? Let’s face it, who wants to hang around a grump? We would much rather be around those that are happy and cheerful. It’s normal and natural.

So smile and smile big! Show others that you are happy and that you are glad to see them. Show them that you are pleased with who you are and where you are going in life.

Tip Number 6: Call the other person by name

It’s been said many times that the sweetest word in the English language is a person’s own name. People love it when somebody uses their name.

Let’s be honest. When someone takes the time to learn your name and remembers it the next time they meet you, aren’t you impressed? Don’t you instantly like that person? And when someone who should know your name can’t seem to recall it, doesn’t your opinion of them drop by about 1000 percent? The non-verbal message is that you are not important enough for them to learn your name. We are all human and have a need to feel important. When someone remembers your name you feel more important than when someone can’t remember your name.

We can have impact and power with other people when we take the trouble to learn their name and use it then next time we see them.

So that’s my message for today. If you want to develop more confidence with others and feel more comfortable in social settings, follow these 6 simple tips.

25 Tips for a Terrific Marriage

Marrying someone is a scary thing. You hope you choose the right person. You think you know them but you don’t. Not really! When my wife Lisa and I were dating we were so much in love. We couldn’t stand to be apart from each other. Neither of us could do any wrong. Then we got married. I woke up the next day beside a complete stranger! Who is this person? The first time we went shopping together we got into a big fight about cheese, if you can believe that!

No marriage is perfect. Even the best of marriages experience problems from time to time. Just because you have problems in your marriage doesn’t mean you have a bad marriage or that you should end your relationship. Nor does it mean you should begin a project to fix your spouse. If you try, you will fail every time. You can’t force anyone to do or be anything. I believe that the only way to get a better spouse is to become one yourself.

They say marriage is grand and divorce is at least 10 grand!

That is why I have put together this list of 25 tips to help you become the best spouse you can be. Here it is:

  1. Keep Dating – Just because you are married doesn’t mean the dating stops. It’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day grind of life and never get out together, away from the children, house and bills. Go to the park, a concert, the gym, out to dinner or a movie.
  2. Have Courtesy – Courtesy in marriage is more than just saying “Please,” “Thank you,” “Excuse me,” or “You’re welcome.” Courtesy in marriage is calling your partner to let them know you’re going to be late. It’s being conscious of their needs and making sure they are met.
  3. Show Respect – Your spouse will have opinions that are different than yours. Show respect for them by never belittling or making fun of them. Show respect for their ideas, their privacy, and their things.
  4. Say “I’m Sorry” – Be the first to make peace. Be willing to say “I’m sorry” and mean it.
  5. Give Surprises – The unexpected things in marriage are what add spice to life. A surprise date, a note on the mirror, finding the dishes done or flowers for no reason can boost your marriage.
  6. Have a Sense of Humor – Be playful, be funny, lighten up from time to time. Find the humor in any situation.
  7. Give Support – Show interest in your spouse’s outside interests and support them in it. Be a cheerleader for them. Help them accomplish their goals.
  8. Give Compliments – Find things about your spouse to compliment. They need to know that you still find them attractive or smart or talented. Tell them.
  9. Say “I love you” – You can never say this too much. Tell them every day that you love them. Go one step further and tell them why you love them.
  10. Have Fun – Don’t be a stick in the mud and never do anything fun. Go out and try new things. Or better yet, do the old things you did when you were dating that were so fun.
  11. Keep Talking – Communicate. Speak to each other. It’s amazing how many couples never talk. You talked until 3 in the morning when you where dating. Why did you stop?
  12. Keep Confidences – Don’t talk about your personal marriage problems with your parents or your friends. This is none of their business. There is a certain level of trust expected in a marriage that we must not tarnish.
  13. Connect Daily – Whether it’s a phone call, email, text message or chatting on Facebook; connect with your spouse every day just to say “Hi, how’s your day going?” Touching bases shows you care.
  14. Give Gifts – They say you can’t buy love but a gift now and then can help brighten the love you’ve got. It doesn’t need to be big or expensive, just a small token that shows you care. Of course big gifts can be nice too!
  15. Work Together – When you do things together like remodeling a room or planting a garden, you both feel that sense of accomplishment which strengthens the bonds of your relationship.
  16. Never Humiliate – Don’t correct or demean or put down your spouse in front of others. It’s bad enough to do these things when you are alone but to humiliate in front of others is paramount to marital suicide.
  17. Listen – One of the simplest yet most neglected things we can do to strengthen our marriage relationship is to listen. It can be a challenge in our multi-tasking-world to stop everything we are doing and actually listen with our full attention but this is crucial to showing we care.
  18. Romance – Somewhere deep inside every adult is a giddy, silly teenager that thrived on juvenile crushes, puppy love and romance. It doesn’t go away; we just tend to suppress it. Light up your relationship again with romance.
  19. Bury the Past – In other words, learn to forgive. Let things go. Don’t keep dredging up past offenses every time you have a new argument. Forgive and forget.
  20. Write Notes – One of the easiest things you can do for your spouse is to write a simple love note and leave it somewhere to be discovered. Somehow, putting it in writing makes it that much more meaningful.
  21. Pick Your Battles – Some things just aren’t worth fighting over. If the issue at hand won’t matter in the long run then concede the battle. Let it go. Winning battles only to lose the war is foolish.
  22. Say “Thank You” – Show appreciation for the little things you take for granted on a daily basis. Your spouse needs to hear from time to time: “Thank you for going to work every day.” “Thanks for a wonderful dinner.” “Thanks for mowing the lawn.” Say it and mean it.
  23. Don’t Smother – When they say a married couple should be “as one” it doesn’t mean you should be tied together 24×7. Allow some slack in the marriage bond from time to time to allow your spouse some personal time and expression.
  24. Sacrifice – Give up something you want so your “better half” can have what they want. Let them choose the restaurant, the movie or television show.
  25. Be Nice – This sounds obvious but sometimes we treat those closest to us worse than we treat strangers. If you treated your friends like you treated your spouse would you have any friends? Something to think about.

The Power of Biting Your Tongue

Bite Your TongueHave you ever said something you later regretted? I certainly have. Many times. One time when I felt like letting my daughter have a verbal lashing, I didn’t. I bit my tongue and learned an important lesson in the process.

My oldest daughter Erika was home from college for the summer and for one reason or another we were just not getting along. This is what I recorded in my journal that day:

Today was Mother’s Day. It was a good day. However, first I want to note what I feel was a significant thing that happened to me today. My relationship with Erika lately had been less than warm. It seemed we were clashing about something on a daily basis and I was so down and depressed about it. I just was so sad inside. I had no smiles in me. It was like I had a dark cloud following me around. And of course last night it happened again when we had some not-so-nice words about what you call a car gas cap, of all things! I wanted so bad to just chew her out and tell her how I really felt about the way she talks to me. I felt like telling her if she wanted to live here she better treat me right or she should just go live somewhere else. But I bit my tongue and said nothing.

Well, this morning I still had the gloomy cloud over me. I was in the bathroom about to shave when Erika came in. She smiled at me and then apologized about what she said last night. I told her that her apology was accepted and that I forgave her.

I was really amazed that the dark gloomy cloud over me totally lifted. From that point on my whole day was great. I felt so good inside like a light had been turned on. Even my headache went away.

Two things I learned: First the value of holding your tongue. If I had chewed her out I’m sure we would still have bad blood between us. The second thing I learned was the power of our moods and how much they affect everything we do – for good or ill. Interesting.

Next time you get the urge to verbally berate someone, think twice and bite your tongue. You may be surprised at the outcome.