You see people connected with others and wonder how they did that. They don’t seem as if they would be travelling in the same circles or sharing any common interests. How did they get there? According to University of Minnesota psychologist Mark Snyder, these people are considered “high self-monitoring.” These people are quick to pick up on social cues and adjust their responses to the situation at hand. According to Ori Brafman and Rom Brafman who wrote Click: The Magic of Instant Connections, high self-monitors can use this to their benefits socially and professionally.
In social situations, these people can quickly become the center of attention at a party. According to studies, a high self-monitor will begin shaking their leg more frequently when sitting next to a person shaking their leg, a behavior called mirroring. Most of us naturally gravitate to others who we perceive as being similar to us.
Ori and Rom also found that these high self-monitors were much more successful at work. These people were typically became a core part of the team within 18 months on average, where low self-monitors had to endure an incredible 13 years to reach a similar level. Proximity also matters. They found that your chances of forming a close bond double when you have an office or desk close to another person. According to their research, the more frequently you see someone face-to-face, the more you like that person. Even when you don’t have a conversation with them!
As both Keith Ferrazzi and Mark Goulston have shared, you exposing a level of genuine vulnerability helps people click. Keith shows the power of this during his keynotes where the audience is encouraged to get up, meet a stranger and share some intimate details of their lives. Mark speaks of it in his book, Just Listen, where he tells people to “bare your neck.” These vulnerabilities don’t make you fragile, they make you accessible.
If you’re interested in learning more about how to genuinely click with others, accelerate your career path and relate more easily to others, check out the following books: