The Most Likeable People Do This

A Simple Technique to Build Immediate Connection

Everyone cares what other people think of them. Especially those people who say, “I don’t care what people think of me.” Calling Dr Freud! It’s a defence mechanism. Those people usually care the most.

There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be liked. We’re social creatures, we depend on our relationships to survive and thrive.

The best way to be liked is to be of value to others. However there is an interesting thing you can do to build immediate rapport. It was discovered by Milton Erickson, one of the fathers of hypnotherapy.

He found that mirroring his client’s behavioural patterns by subtly matching their volume, pace, facial expressions or gestures massively increased the chances of them following his suggestions. This is based on a simple truth: we like people who are like us. That’s right, we’re all a little narcissistic!

Watch two people on a date that is going well and you will notice them unconsciously mimicking each other’s movements and facial expressions. It starts to look like a choreographed dance, which may just lead to the horizontal one later!

Amazingly when two people are in rapport their heart rate, brain waves and even eye blink rate start syncing.

Mirroring happens naturally, but research shows that if we want to build our influence, we need to be more deliberate about it.

  • Negotiators who consciously mimicked their opponent’s mannerisms were more likely to create a deal that benefited both parties.
  • Retail salespeople who were instructed to mirror the facial expressions and body language of their customers achieved nearly 20 percent more sales.
  • We can also mirror verbal content. A Dutch study found that waitresses who repeated diners’ orders word for word earned 70 percent more tips.

To learn more persuasion tools and ramp up your influence, read or listen to my book  Pitch to Win on the XLife Member’s Zone. Not an XLife Member? Become an XLife Member now. 

Live the XLife!


Justin Cohen
Bestselling author
Speaker Hall of Fame Inductee
TV Show Host & Coach