1. Adopt the Counter-intuitive Approach to Becoming Well-Liked
Legend has it that British Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli and his political rival William Gladstone had a date with the same woman on different nights. When asked her impression of the two men, she said, “When I left the dining room after sitting next to Mr. Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But after sitting next to Mr. Disraeli, I thought I was the cleverest woman in England.”
Disraeli’s talent is echoed in what Jack Nicholson’s character famously said to Helen Hunt’s character in the movie, As Good as it Gets: “You make me want to be a better man.”
Counterintuitive Likeability Hint: People are more likely to be drawn to you and act admirably when they like how they feel and act when around you. That’s even more vital than how they first perceive you.
2. Craft Scenes That Make Us Feel important and Cared for
Was it the butterscotch-colored walls, light coconut scent wafting through the door as I opened it or the cushy island of azure blue carpet under my feet as I stepped into the boutique hotel? I don’t know yet I instinctively sighed with relief. And that was before I saw the smiling doorman walking towards me, saying, “We’re glad that you’re safely out of that storm. Let me help you with your coat, if you like, and your bag.”
Feel Good Hint: Positive multi-sensory cues multiple their emotional impact when we feel more than one at once or three in quick succession.
In fact, without my knowing it at the time, that doorman looked more handsome and caring than I would have experienced him if the entry to that hotel had shiny metal railings, an elaborately patterned carpet and/or a dark colored wall.
3. The Scene That’s Most Often Neglected Has the Biggest Impact on How We Feel About Our Experience
Further, since the last “scene” when I left the hotel the next morning was as a positive as the opening scene, I tended to forget the slow room service or cramped bathroom, according to research on the power of the sequence of events within an experience – from a vacation to a colonscopy. Yet that last scene we have in a hotel, hospital, restaurant, store or conference is often the most neglected. No small farewell gift? No smiling staff saying “We look forward to seeing you again.” These “peak end” moments have the most impact on how we recall the whole experience.
Even apparently small physical moment make a big emotional and even learning difference. Adapt these multi-sensory cues to pull others to you, your place or event.
Leaving Hint: The last thing you remember is often the most memorable.
4. Get Us Motion Together to Feel Togetherness
Children “are better at math when using their hands while thinking,” found to Josh Ackerman, a MIT psychologist. Further, the weight, texture and hardness of objects we touch affects our opinion of the people and the situation.
Moving Hint: Get people in convivial motion together, walking down a hall where the walls have a sequence of captioned images that build interest, suspense and conversation, Burma Shave-style, to collectively discover the “punch line” or answer in the last captioned image. See the rest of the tips at my Forbes column.