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It's in the eyebrows: 6 simple ways to win over your co-workers

Published: Tuesday, September 26, 2017 @ 5:50 AM
By: Rose Kennedy - For the AJC

Generating likes on Facebook is a just-for-fun pursuit, but when people like you in real-life work interactions, it pays off. Whether it’s in getting the sale, networking contacts or just more comfort at the workplace, in sales, in network contacts, in workplace happiness and in your comfort level with co-workers.
You can tap into these benefits in interactions lasting just 90 seconds or less, according to And you won't need fake compliments or extra-firm handshakes. 

RELATED: 5 of the most toxic co-workers and how to deal with them

The principle is straightforward, according to Psychology Today

"If I meet you and make you feel good about yourself, you will like me and seek every opportunity to see me again to reconstitute the same good feeling you felt the first time we met. Unfortunately, this powerful technique is seldom used because we are continually focused on ourselves and not others."
To increase the possibility of making co-workers, bosses and clients like you within 90 seconds, try these expert-recommended ideas:

Master the eyebrow flash. This quick up-and-down movement of your eyebrows should be your first go-to, since people can see an eyebrow flash while they're still approaching you or are across the conference table. "Our brains continually scan the environment for friend or foe signals," according to PT. "As people approach one another they eyebrow flash each other to send the message that they do not pose a threat." 

Make eye contact. Keeping your eyes locked with people you want to like you lets them know that you're trustworthy and that they're important. 
Career expert Kara Ronin gave a quick trick, so you won't feel creepy staring into someone else's eyes: "Draw an imaginary inverted triangle on the other person's face around their eyes and mouth. During the conversation, change your gaze every five to 10 seconds from one point on the triangle to another. This will make you look interested and engrossed in the conversation."

Speak with empathy. People will feel good about themselves and extend that to liking you when you practice making empathetic statements during work conversations. The trick is to capture a person's message or emotional state and reflect it back to him or her without repeating what was said word for word.
Start an empathetic statement with "So you..." to put the focus on the other person, PT said. "We naturally tend to say something to the effect, 'I understand how you feel.' The other person automatically thinks, 'No, you don't know how I feel because you are not me.'"

 An example of a quick empathetic conversation: 
Sally: I have been slammed with deadlines this week.
Sarah: So you've been working really hard the past few days, huh?

Once you've mastered sprinkling empathetic statements into your everyday sales and work interactions, you can eliminate the "So you..." at the beginning, though you may still want to start that way silently.

Stop fidgeting! The popularity of fidget spinners notwithstanding, fidgets tell other people you aren't that interested, which does the opposite of making them like you. Fidgeting also conveys signals that you might be nervous or lying or lack self-control, according to Reading Body Language Now.

Ask for a favor. Seriously! While you'd think other people would be annoyed when you ask them to do something for you, it's much more likely to make them feel good about themselves, which leads to them liking you, according to PT. Focus on small but meaningful favors, like lending you a book from their office or calling a contact for a hard-to-score restaurant reservation. Avoid asking for too many favors, or asking for big or frivolous things, like rides to work when you're out of the way or handing you an object from a shelf you can easily reach yourself. 

Help people flatter themselves. Ask questions or make statements that help people make flattering remarks about themselves, while avoiding any that rely on physical appearance, innuendo or other potentially inappropriate workplace topics.
"When people compliment themselves, your sincerity is not an issue and people rarely miss an opportunity to flatter themselves," according to PT. A couple of statements that help people expand on their own good points include, "How do you manage to get here on time every day with that awful commute?" and "I'd love to know more about how you deal with the shipping department so effectively."