Why you need to be liked!
Likeability, the key to success for speaking, influencing and communicating.
What all good salespeople know is that people buy on emotion and justify on reason. That is true of “buying” a person as well as a product. This sales adage may have initially come from folk wisdom and sales intuition but more recently it has been validated by research into biology and the structure of the human brain. Human’s actions are largely controlled by our limbic system, our mammal brain which is our basic survival mechanism. We instinctively decide whether we “like” someone. That encompasses do we trust them. Do we feel safe with them? If we don’t “like” someone, essentially, we feel a sense of distrust or threat from them and subconsciously our brains are making survival decisions – do we need to deploy a fight, flight or freeze response?
Clearly in the modern world just disliking or distrusting someone does not represent a threat to our survival but our brains (which essentially haven’t evolved
that much since Palaeolithic times) interpret it as a threat. Once our limbic brain has made this subconscious judgement, our neo- cortex or
human brain (which is the conscious, rational, logical part of the brain) then seeks and finds the factual data and evidence to support the emotional response. The brain has a filtering system. It has to. Every minute of every day there are literally thousands of stimuli we could pay attention to, from the person we’re speaking to, to the noise of the traffic outside, the colour of the door mat, the paint on the walls, the expression of the person across the table. The brain needs to know what to focus on as it can’t process all the stimuli and it is the limbic system, (and a particular part of it called the reticular activating system) the survival mechanism that tells the brain where to focus. If we feel that someone is likeable, our rationale brain looks for evidence to support that, we notice only the good things about someone, if we don’t then we notice only the negative things. There are more than enough indicators and stimuli about any one person for people to look for and find, evidence to support either a likeable or not likeable point of view.
Likeability is the driving factor in most people’s decision-making process so to influence and persuade successfully a key asset is being likeable to your target audience.
To read more about Women and Likeability, there will be a series of blogs over the next few weeks, or download the full article here