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Tricks of the Trade to Gain an Upper Hand

By Sandy Schroeder

What we do and say makes a difference at home, at work, and in the community. Learning a few “tricks of the trade” to make people more receptive couldn’t hurt.

Dr. Travis Bradberry, co-founder of TalentSmart, an agency that services 75 percent of Fortune 500 companies, recently suggested a few mind tricks to learn.

Learn how favors work – When you get someone to help you, the person rationalizes why they are doing the favor. He or she may just like you, see you as a friend, or assume you would help them. As people do favors, it reinforces their positive thoughts about you.

What eye contact says – When you are sharing a laugh in a group, each person will make eye contact with the person they are closest to. You can read what’s going on in a group just by watching this interaction. You may also pick up signals from someone new, or better understand your own responses.

Use open hands – An open palm, open hand response is friendlier, and more trustworthy, than a pointing finger or fist. Watch people in a group to see how they use their hands. Notice how people react to your hand signals.

Make silence work for you – If you ask a question and don’t get an immediate response, just wait. The pressure is now on the other person to reply. If you do not rush to fill the gap, this pressure may help in a negotiation.

Check the feet – When you are talking to someone, watch their feet. If their feet point toward you, they are probably interested. If the feet point away, they may not be on board.

Nodding helps – Nodding your head as you talk to someone encourages them to agree. It’s human nature to mirror what you see. If you were shaking your head as you spoke, you might create the opposite reaction.

Imprint new names – When you meet someone, try to work their name into the conversation to help you remember it.

Smiles are contagious – Starting with a smile often helps. Try it in the supermarket when you bump into someone’s cart. Smile when you begin a conversation or ask a question. 

I have known people who must have been born with these skills. The moment they walked into a room they had the group's attention. From there, it was all downhill. Try a few out to see if you agree.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Downers Grove, Ill.

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