Previously, when we discussed Aristotle's idea of ethos, we said a message is more likely to be persuasive if the speaker is credible. By credible, I mean the speaker is seen to be an expert and is seen to be trustworthy. But there is another quality that is just as important for persuasion, and that is likeability. You're more likely to be persuaded if we like the speaker. If we hate the speaker, there's zero chance persuasion will occur. Now there are many ways to get people to like you. One way, is to inject appropriate humor at the right moment. Humor can lighten the atmosphere and put the audience at ease. You'll be seen as more confident and competent, which will increase your status. But humor can be risky, so if you're not sure, then best avoid it. But at a minimum, do smile. Smiling signals friendliness and an absence of threat. The more you smile in a genuine way, the more people will like you. In terms of interpersonal interactions, there are also ways to increase liking. One general guideline is to remember Carl Rogers six behaviors for effective interpersonal communication. Who is Carl Rogers? He was an American psychologist and one of the founding fathers of the humanist movement. He invented the person-centered approach to psychotherapy and believe that all of us have within us vast resources for self-understanding and the capacity to change and grow. He therefore encourage therapists to create the right conditions to help their clients achieve this. The most important condition is for a therapist to suspend all judgment and to have a positive, unconditional regard for their clients. Now, we can learn something from Carl Rogers. For instance, one sure way of not having a good conversation is for the other person to adopt a superior attitude. You would rather spend your time with someone who respects you, who accepts you the way you are, this is called equality. Likewise, you attain to like people who are supportive and positive, open and honest, and understand or feel the way you feel, which is called empathy. Now, these six characteristics of equality, supportiveness, positiveness, openness, honesty, and empathy, may seem like common sense, but here's the thing, how many times have you seen these guidelines violated? I see them violated all the time. Creating rapport with another person is another way of increasing interpersonal liking during communication, but what is rapport? The concept of rapport is surprisingly difficult to define, but let me illustrate this with a simple example. Imagine you're out on a blind date and it's not working. There's no chemistry, whatsoever, and you just want to go home. Now imagine the opposite. If the interactions go well, you begin to feel as if you know that person. A rapport has been established. A rapport is therefore an unconscious bond or connection developed during an encounter, when both parties show an active interest in each other as individuals. There are mutual feelings of care and responsiveness. Now, rapport has been studied in a wide range of situations from therapy to sales encounter, in hospitals between nurses and patients, and even between teachers and pupils. Rapport works because both parties are more likely to trust each other and accommodate each other's requests. So how do you go about establishing rapport with another person? There are essentially four main strategies. One, attentive behavior. This means playing close attention to the other person. Two, courteous behavior. This means being polite. Three, common grounding behavior. This means finding common areas of interests, and four, imitative behavior. This means imitating the behavior and voice pattern of the other person. Now, the first three strategies are fairly straightforward, but the fourth called imitative behavior, needs a bit of explanation. It turns out that when we like someone, we tend to unconsciously imitate their behavior. For example, we may change the pitch of our voice to be more similar to theirs, or we may adopt a similar body posture. This is called synchrony. We begin to adapt our behavior unconsciously to be like the other person. The more we want to feel closer to the other person, the more this would occur. Now, this is the weird thing, it turns out that the reverse is also true. If you want the other party to like you, then only have to do is to subtly imitate them. This is called mimicry. One interesting study shows that if a waitress simply repeats the order back to a patron in a restaurant, she will end up with more tips. So why does mimicry work? It works because the other person now appears to be similar to us, and since we tend to like ourselves, we also end up liking the people who are like us. That is why mimicry works. Similarity is another way of creating liking. You may ask whether it is possible to build rapport with a large audience. Yes, you can. You do it by building rapport with one person at a time in the audience. For instance, by showing you're attentive to the question asked by one person, others in your audience would know by inference that you are also attentive to them. You can also explicitly outline areas of mutual interest between you and the audience, or point out how similar you are to some people in the audience. Finally, you should always be courteous to your audience to encourage acceptance of your message. In summary, this lesson is all about different ways of getting people to like you, whether it is during a one-to-one interaction or in a larger group. The more they like you, the easier it is to persuade them. Of course, you also need to be credible.