So much of the world is based on how much people like you. For example, when you are in a job interview, there are three or four other candidates. All are qualified, because no one interviews people who cannot do the job—that would be a total waste of time. This means that interviews are about being enchanting. Whichever of the four candidates who the hiring manager most wants to hang out with all day is the one who gets the job.
The same is true for getting a promotion. Whoever the person in charge likes the most is the one who gets the promotion. And the rent control apartment. And the best match for a tutor. And the best coaching for Little League. It’s always about who is most enchanting. They get all the benefits.
A lot of being enchanting, I’m sorry to tell you, is how you look. People who are better looking get all kinds of perks, from better grades in preschool to more sales in consulting. But you can be good looking and be a bore. And you can be not great looking but make up for a lot of that in personality. And this is where enchantment comes into play. Enchantment is also what makes someone in the top 10% of performers catapult into the top 2%.
Here’s how to be enchanting:
1. Say yes.
Guy Kawasaki wrote the book on enchantment, literally. The book is Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts and Minds. And Guy says that we should look over all aspects of our lives because enchantment can happen during a retail transaction, a high-level corporate negotiation, or a Facebook update. And when done right, it’s more powerful than traditional persuasion, influence, or marketing techniques.
“A yes buys time, enables you to see more options and builds rapport,” is what Guy writes. “By contrast, a no response stops everything. There’s no place to go, nothing to build on and no further options are available. You will never know what may have come out of a relationship if you don’t let it begin.”
Guy has helped me a lot in my own career and he has also asked me to promote his books. And I say “yes,” of course, and then sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t. I’m pretty sure that being unreliable is the opposite of enchanting.
So maybe I can make up for it now by telling you that I recommend Guy’s book The Art of the Start to everyone who thinks they want to do a company but can’t make themselves do it. And while I’m at it, because I’m enchanting, I’m going to make good on the yes I gave Guy for his newest book APE: Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur: How to Publish a Book. I haven’t read it. In fact, I couldn’t even tell from the cover what the title of the book is. But Guy is a genius at self-promotion, and this book seems like a good example of him doing that.
2. Be passionate.
I was coaching this guy, Jonathan Mann, and the first thing I learned about him is that he has written a song a day for 1500 days in a row and they’re all on YouTube. That is immediately enchanting because determination and commitment are enchanting.
People want to be close to passion because passion is contagious. Also, when you are passionate about something you can find an immediate connection to other passionate people, because commitment to a cause and the drive to get there are scary to own, so people who are doing it feel an immediate bond.
Fun side note: One day after our phone call, Jonathan wrote a song about our coaching session.
3. Make people better than they are.
The truth is that people don’t care if you are enchanting. They want to feel like they themselves are enchanting. I first learned this reading Roger Ailes’s book You Are The Message. He explains how you are interesting if you make people around you interesting.
You are enchanting to people if you help them to be better than they are. Melissa is enchanting to me. She fills in where I’m weak on details, but she also does things that I wouldn’t know to ask for that make me better at being me.
For example, the picture up top. I took a few versions of my son rolling all over the doctor’s office while we were there for what he said was an excruciatingly painful broken leg. Melissa gathered those photos and mushed them together to show action. That’s fun. And now I get to have a photo on my blog that I sort of took but didn’t know I could take.
4. Show gratitude.
My favorite thing I read this week is an article in the New York Times titled The Professor, The Bikini Model and The Suitcase Full of Trouble. It’s about the tenured US physics professor who is in prison in Argentina for drug smuggling. He is a genius and wildly passionate about physics but his social skills are at the level of a young child.
There is clearly a piece missing in his brain, which, in case you were wondering, is so similar to my father that I just can’t believe it. My father is a Harvard graduate and he has a police record. And I’m blown away by the article because it explains so deftly how someone could be so brilliant and so stupid at the same time.
This is not relevant to the post. But I need you to know it because it’s fascinating to me, and I want you to be fascinated by the article, too. I loved the song the guy wrote. I loved the photo Melissa edited. I want you to see the amazing things I see so that we can talk about it.
You are enchanting to me. Which is why I keep writing.