Lessons In Easy Camaraderie And Infectious Congeniality
I met Jake Canon for the first time at a party in Manhattan. By the time Jake sauntered into the penthouse apartment of fashion magazine publisher, David Cobb, the informal party was well underway. It was a mixed gathering of New York’s Creme-de-la-Creme in show business, the catwalk, media and academia.
Jake is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill celebrity. He is not even privileged to belong to any of these elite groupings. He didn’t come from Old Money either. Furthermore, he certainly was no Adonis, not being at a stage of physical perfection that could be celebrated in any way. I was to learn later that this total lack of prepossessing physical significance was matched only by an acute difficulty to situate him in any particular stratum of New York’s multi-tiered social matrix. As it turned out, the only remarkable fact about Jake was that he was a graduate of the Harvard Business School.
But right from where I sat as the lone occupant of an alcove, I quickly realized that Jake was not quite as lackluster as he had first seemed. This is because, quite soon, he became the soul of the party, as group after group swirled and revolved around him.
A few weeks later, he surfaced at another party hosted by a Wall Street investment banker. Once more, he appeared to entrance everyone, effortlessly attracting attention to himself the way magnet attaches steel to itself. As we got talking, I deliberately studied Jake with more than casual interest, and on closer scrutiny, I was struck by the incomparable energy and confidence that he radiated. Even the most reticent individuals in the room found themselves enamored with his charming personality.
What makes Jake so irresistible is that his sense of self-worth comes from within. He does not consciously seek validation, perhaps because he is confident enough to find it in himself. That night, and over a year of truly rewarding acquaintanceship, I was to gain intimate familiarity with certain remarkable traits in Jake.
1. Jake Treats Everyone He Encounters With An Urbane Respect.
Whether interacting with someone of obvious substance, or a waiter taking his order at a restaurant, he is unfailingly polite and respectful. Jake has an understanding of the human psyche that borders on the uncanny. He knows that no matter how courteous he is to the person he’s having lunch with, his warm aura of amiability will simply dissipate into thin air if that person witnesses him behaving rudely to the waiter. Jake treats everyone with respect because he believes he’s no better than anyone else.
2. Jake Subscribes To The Platinum Rule.
The Golden Rule states that you should treat others as you would wish to be treated. That is its classic prescription. However, there is a subtle, yet more profound application of the rule. We generally assume that all people want to be treated the same way. This is a fatally flawed assumption, if only because It ignores the fact that people are motivated by vastly different things. For instance, one person could crave public recognition, while another loathes the limelight. Those who, like Jake, are truly blessed with enlightened discernment are aware of the subterranean Platinum Rule which states that you should treat others, not only as you wish to be treated, but also as they wish to be treated. Jake is a master of Social Intelligence. Because he is socially proficient at reading other people, he is skillfully capable of adjusting his entire body language just to make others feel comfortable. His index of emotional intelligence is formidable.
3. Jake Does Not Indulge In Nonsensical Dialogue.
He recognizes that, for him to make meaningful, emotional and sustainable connection with another person, he must avoid small and empty talk. He has a propensity for creating connection at such a deep level that even a short conversation leaves other people with a long-lasting impression that holds him in uncommonly high esteem.
4. Jake Focuses on People More Than Anything Else.
Jake expresses an authentic interest in those around him, and for this reason, he hardly expends much time and energy thinking about himself. This is also why, unlike the generality of people, he is not obsessed over how well others like him. It is this genuine focus on other people that makes his irresistibility seem so effortless.
I will give you an example of Jake’s extraordinary skill in focusing on people.
One day, I ran into him at a coffee shop. He was busy on his smart phone. Immediately I started talking, he quietly dropped the phone to offer exclusive focus to what I was saying. For Jake, that was not an isolated flash of courtesy. He makes it a point to focus on what someone is saying, not what his response will be, or how what they’re saying will affect him. When people tell him something about themselves, he follows up with open-ended questions to draw them out even more.
5. Jake Never Tries Too Hard.
He never, not even remotely, tries to dominate a conversation with stories of how smart he is. Yet, this is not because he is valiantly resisting the urge to brag, as, quite simply, the very thought doesn’t even occur to him. Obviously, Jake knows how unlikeable people are who try too hard to impress.
6. Jake Recognizes The Difference Between Fact And Opinion.
Jake handles controversial topics and touchy subjects with consummate grace and incomparable poise. While he does not baulk at sharing his opinions, he makes it perfectly clear that they are opinions, not facts. Whether discussing global warming, politics, or HIV/AIDS, Jake recognizes that many people who are just as intelligent as he is see things differently.
7. Jake Is Authentic.
Jake is who he is. He is predictable. No one has to unravel his agenda, for the simple reason that there is none. He knows that no one likes a fake entity. He also knows that people gravitate toward authentic individuals because they know such people can be trusted. People trust Jake.
8. Jake Has Integrity.
Jake has a high index of integrity. He walks his talk. To demonstrate his integrity every day, Jake follows through on his word. He refuses to run anyone down. He does the right thing, even when it hurts.
9. Jake Smiles
Jake naturally, and unconsciously, mirrors the body language of the person he’s talking to. During a conversation, whether formal or informal, Jake makes it a matter of unwavering policy to embellish the encounter with smiles at strategic moments. The amazing thing is that people will usually return the compliment, and feel good as a result.
10. Jake Makes An Effort To Appear Well Appointed At All Times.
Jake realizes there is a massive difference between being sartorially presentable and being a vain person. For Jake, making an effort to look his best is comparable to cleaning his house before visitors arrive. It is a sign of respect for others. However, once he has made himself presentable, he stops thinking about it.
11. Jake Always Finds Reasons To Love And Celebrate Life.
Jake is positive and passionate. He is never bored. This is because he sees life as an amazing adventure which he approaches with an infectious joy that other people want to be a part of. It would bother on the ridiculously simplistic to assume that Jake is probably always of such excellent cheer because he does not have problems to contend with. It’s just that he has the proactive ability to see problems as temporary obstacles, not fatally inescapable fate. When things go wrong, as they invariably will every once in a while, Jake reminds himself that a bad day is just one day, and he keeps the hope that his tomorrow will be infinitely better.
What lessons can we learn from Jake?
+ We easily learn that irresistible people do not have fairy godmothers hovering over their cribs.
+ We learn that such people have merely perfected certain appealing qualities and habits that anyone can adopt as their own.
+ We learn that they think about other people more than they think about themselves, making rather big packages of themselves.
+ We learn that they make other people feel liked, respected and understood.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr. Yomi Garnett is a physician, author, public speaker, and a world-class Ghostwriter. He is HOST of the popular Internet Radio Talk Show, DREAM THE LIFE, LIVE THE DREAM, on the VoiceAmerica Talk Radio Network, in Phoenix, Arizona. Eminently regarded as one of the world’s most accomplished Ghostwriters, Dr. Garnett is President/CEO at The Global Institute For Human Excellence, Chancellor/CEO at Royal Biographical Institute, ROBIN, and Host of The Garnett Interview- America’s First Celebrity Newsletter Interview, an Online, High Profile and Social Media-propelled Interview series. He is Author : “365 DAYS OF WISDOM: A Daily Companion For The Soul In Search of Enlightenment.”
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