It’s been said that “no man is an island” and that almost anything you want, you can get with the help or cooperation of other people. That’s why learning how to connect with people, and getting them to like (or even love) you, can pay massive dividends to the fulfillment of your goals.
With this in mind, I’d like to share with you a simple 4-step process that will help you become the kind of person that everyone wants to be with, and be eager to do favors for! I call it the M.I.L.K. Formula. Here’s what the acronym stands for…
M ““ Mindset
I ““ Identification
L ““ Language
K – Kindness
Before meeting anyone, you must be in a good mood and positive state of mind, because people are more attracted to those who have an optimistic outlook in life.
So before you begin your day, take a few moments to think about the things that make you feel good and happy. Think about the people you love, joyful experiences, or the fulfillment of your dreams and goals.
Appreciate all your blessings, no matter how small they may seem. This sets you up in a state of gratitude and bliss.
Then focus on what you like or admire about each person, and disregard anything you don’t like about them. I know this may seem difficult at the start, but it becomes a habit when you practice it daily.
Sometimes, we see even the most minor flaws of others, but we are “blind” to their good side. No matter how “bad” anyone might seem, there’s always something good in them. But to find them, we must eliminate our biases and unconditionally accept them for who they really are.
Step 2: IDENTIFICATION
Identification means that you identify their current state and enter their world. You got to know what they are feeling or thinking at the moment, so you can adjust your words and actions accordingly and meet them where they are.
To do this, you have to observe their body movements and listen attentively to their words (and how they say it).
If their arms are crossed and their feet are pointing towards the door while you’re talking to them, it’s a hint that they may have been offended by what you said. Even if they said, “my business is doing ok” but they sound depressed or sad, then you know it’s not doing ok. You got to pick up on those subtle hints.
Once you’ve recognized their present state, you have to identify with their emotions. If they’re nervous, recall a past experience when you felt that way too. If they’re overjoyed, relive the moment when you also felt ecstatic.
People will get drawn towards you if they feel that you have something in common. When they become aware that you’re feeling the same way as they do, and even have similar experiences, you’re building a deep connection and rapport with them.
Step 3: LANGUAGE
You have the power to make people feel the way you want them to… by your choice of words!
If you say that you have a “problem” at hand, they will feel bad or discouraged. But if you say that you have a “challenge” to conquer, they will feel motivated to find a solution. Same situation. Different words. Different results.
There’s also a big difference between asking “what’s bothering you?” and “what’s wrong with you?” The first question aims to help, while the second one intends to insult or offend.
Your word choice also depends on your recipient. You have to adjust to their lingo, and not the other way around.
You wouldn’t want to speak computer jargon to someone who is not too “technical.” Some people think that speaking jargon or unfamiliar words make them sound knowledgeable; but by doing it, they’re not connecting with others and may even be regarded as inconsiderate.
On the other hand, the best way to connect with anyone is by speaking their own language. If you’re giving a moneymaking seminar to farmers, tell them that by “planting these seeds of knowledge” they will be able to “harvest” a fortune in a few weeks. They’ll be able to relate to that.
Step 4: KINDNESS
No one can resist loving and helping a kindhearted person. So if you want to give your relationships a big boost, give everyone (even complete strangers) the VIP treatment. Make them feel special and valued; and if possible, do something for them that they will cherish for a lifetime.
Here are some ideas…
Say “I love you” to the people you love, then give them a big hug and/or kiss.
Give a gift unexpectedly to someone even when there’s no special occasion, and tell them how much you admire them or what they’re doing.
Give your complete attention to your spouse, kids, or other loved ones (even for just one whole day). Shift your complete focus on them and do the things you love together. (That means no cellphones, TV and other distractions).
Stick small post-it notes with words of encouragement or praises on your office mates’ table, your kids’ pencil case, your spouse’s notebook, your mom’s computer, etc.
Contact someone who has made a huge difference in your life, and let them know how much they mean to you.
Give more than the usual tip you give to waiters, barbers, and other service providers. You can bet you’ll get extra attention and care the next time you visit them.
Tell someone who owes you money (or things) that they don’t have to pay you anymore. You’re giving it to them as a gift. (Practice wisdom and good judgment though, as we don’t want them taking advantage of your kindness).
Support or defend someone who has been unfairly treated.
If you sincerely want to connect with people and develop great relationships, go through the 4 steps above and start applying them in your daily life. Before you realize it, you’re getting the love, trust, and respect of everyone around you.