Personal Filters In-Check

Would you tell someone that he/she looked fat, dirty, or ugly?

Our filters tell us that, even if we’re looking at someone and we’re thinking “Wow, she needs to lose weight or “Oh my gosh, he needs to take a shower,” we don’t say it out loud.

Per Wikipedia Social competence consists of social, emotional, cognitive and behavioral skills needed for successful social adaptation. Social competence also reflects having an ability to take another’s perspective concerning a situation, learn from past experiences, and apply that learning to the changes in social interactions.

Our filters should be set that way for opposite situations. Some compliments might be too personal. “You’re beautiful” or “You look pretty, today” or “Your make up looks good, today” are, most of the time, not necessary, Just as telling someone that he/she is overweight or that she/he isn’t dressed nice isn’t necessary.

What we look like doesn’t usually matter in a professional setting. There are situations where we can say something just to help a colleague out; for example, it could be that a colleague has mascara on her cheek (or his) or his/her shirt tag is hanging out. It could be that a co-worker is getting ready for a presentation and he/she looks great! If he/she asks you, “How do I look?” this would also be when this kind of comment would be warranted.

As a boss or a supervisor you may have to, at some point, explain to someone your company’s professional attire preferences, instead of saying, “you’re dressing wrong,” you can give that person or give the whole team guidelines for what they should wear to ensure everyone is “on the same page” and comfortable in this work environment.

I have talked to clients who felt awkward about talking to co-workers about how they were dressed, so even when it’s appropriate to say something, many times these conversations are not had…because they are awkward.

What we look like doesn’t usually matter in a professional interaction.

I recently met a gentleman at a professional event who I thought was very attractive. I got a flashback of moments when men said something to me that was unwarranted. I knew if I didn’t say anything to this man about his physical appearance that he wouldn’t know how I felt and the interaction would remain professional, so I didn’t say anything…it worked…it’s that simple.

I’m saying all of this because I have been in situations when I knew that I looked good. I got up in the morning, and I did everything I could to look really nice, but I didn’t do it get that compliment; I just did it because I wanted to look nice. When a client of mine told me I looked nice, it was awkward for me. He didn’t think anything of it, but I didn’t need that compliment. It wasn’t necessary or “missing.” If you say it out loud it changes the context of the meeting from professional to personal.

If you are on a date…compliment the person you are taking out. If you are meeting someone for professional reasons, keep the conversation professional. Any comments about the other person personally makes the conversation personal.

Once you have a working relationship with a person it may become more appropriate to compliment that person, but only in circumstances when it’s warranted. I have clients whom I have worked with for years, but the situation is still professional, so I still really don’t need that compliment.

Our filters tell us it’s OK to tell someone they look pretty or beautiful, but this might have an impact on our Know Like Trust score. Telling someone she/he looks beautiful or handsome or giving somebody a physical compliment when it’s not completely necessary, could be creating issues you may not be considering. In the context of the situation or the conversation, if it’s not necessary, leave it out. Don’t say it. The lack of the compliment won’t have a negative impact on the interaction. The inclusion of the compliment might.

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How Do You Earn Being “Liked?”

How is that you know if someone “likes” you. What does “like” even mean? Here’s the definition:

to find agreeable, enjoyable, or satisfactory. Synonyms: be fond of, be attached to, have a soft spot for, have a liking for, have regard for, think well of, admirerespectesteem. Antonyms: hate, dislike, not favor.

It is possible to know someone and not like that person. How is it that you get to “like” level with a person. How long does it take for someone to decide if they like you?

In a networking situation you might not have an opportunity to get to know someone for several meetings. Maybe other commitments have kept two people from getting to know each other.

How do you earn being “liked?”

Am I likable? “Like” is different than “know” because it depends more on the other person than you. For someone to know you they need to learn about you. Sometimes people decide they don’t “like” someone based on a feeling, so “like” is even less objective than “know.”

The most important think to know about “like” is that we don’t expect anyone to try to get someone to “like” you by not being YOU. Most of the time, people have a more difficulty with “like” status because they are trying too hard…they aren’t just being their genuine self. So here are some tips for making improvements in this area:

  1. Be yourself. Don’t try to be something or someone you aren’t.
  2. If you are having trouble finding something to say, don’t say anything. If you aren’t great in social settings, don’t try too hard. Just being in social settings will help you get better in them. Make a conscious effort to not say anything, rather than saying too much or something that you will regret later.
  3. Smile. There is lots of research that shows that smiling helps people bond.
  4. Be honest. If you don’t know how to respond and your concerned. Just say, “I’m sorry, I don’t know how to reply to that.” Or, “I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”
  5. Keep conversations light. Especially with people you are networking with or you don’t know very well. Stay away from controversial conversations. If you do get stuck in a controversial conversation, you can jokingly opt out.
  6. Balance conversations. If you find that you are talking a lot, try to “put the ball, in someone else’s court.” Ask a question to get someone else to take over.
  7. Do your work well. If you are in a group and you have a particular profession, knowing your profession very well speaks volumes.
  8. Don’t try to sell all the time. The rule of thumb is 80/20. While networking, only 20% is selling and 80% is relationship building.

Your KLT report can help you learn more about the impression you are leaving with you peers.