11 Habits of Genuinely Likable People

By on Wednesday, September 27th, 2017.

There’s a formula to making a great first impression: Smile, make eye contact, be engaging. But first impressions can also quickly lose their impact, especially when there’s no substance beneath the surface glow.

Being genuinely likable over the long haul is tougher. Building and maintaining great relationships, consistently influencing others in a good way and making people feel better about themselves, those are things relatively few people can do.

But you can, because being the most likable person in the room has nothing to do with your level of success, or your presentation skills, or how you dress, or the image you project. Being genuinely likable is all about what you do.

How can you be more likable, in a sincere and authentic way?

1. Give before you receive, knowing you may never receive.

Never think about what you can get. Focus on what you can provide. Giving is the only way to establish a real connection and relationship.

Focus on what you can get out of the other person, and you show that the only person who really matters is you.

2. Shift the spotlight to other people.

No one receives enough praise. That means one of the easiest ways to be likable is to tell people what they did well.

Wait, you say you don’t know what they did well? Shame on you — it’s your job to know.

Not only will people appreciate your praise, they’ll appreciate the fact you care enough to pay attention to what they do. And then they’ll feel a little more accomplished and a lot more important, and they’ll love you for making them feel that way.

3. Listen three times more than you talk.

Ask questions. Maintain eye contact. Smile. Frown. Nod. Respond — not just verbally, but nonverbally. That’s all it takes to show the other person he or she is important.

When you do speak, don’t offer advice unless you’re asked. Listening shows you care a lot more than offering advice does, because when you offer advice, in most cases, you make the conversation about you.

Don’t believe me? Who is “Here’s what I would do” about: you or the other person?

Only speak when you have something important to say — and always define important as what matters to the other person, not to you.

4. Never practice selective hearing.

Some people — and I guarantee you know people like this — are incapable of hearing anything said by someone they feel is somehow beneath them.

Sure, you speak to them, but that particular falling tree doesn’t make a sound in the forest, because there’s no one actually listening.

Charismatic people listen closely to everyone, and they make all of us, regardless of our position or social status or “level,” feel like we have something in common with them.

Because we do. We’re all human.

5. Be thoughtful simply because you can.

I pulled into a service bay to get my oil changed. As I got out of the car, one of the techs said, “Man, those are nice wheels. Too bad they’re so dirty.” He smiled, just teasing.

“I know,” I said. “My next stop is the car wash.” Then I went inside to wait.

When I walked to my car to leave, the tech was just standing up, filthy rags in his hand. “It took some work, but I got ’em all clean,” he said. Every rim sparkled. Every speck of brake dust was gone.

“Wow, that’s awesome, but you didn’t have to do that,” I said.

“We’re not very busy,” he shrugged. “I had time. Figured I would make ’em look better.” Just then a car pulled into another bay so he hustled away, saying over his shoulder, “Have a good day.”

That was years ago, but I still haven’t forgotten it.

Instead of turning idle time into “me time,” likable people use their free time to do something nice — not because they’re expected to, but just because they can.

6. Put your stuff away.

Don’t check your phone. Don’t glance at your monitor. Don’t focus on anything else, even for a moment.

You can never connect with others if you’re busy connecting with your stuff, too.

Give the gift of your full attention. That’s a gift few people give. It alone will make others want to be around you.

7. Never act self-important …

The only people who are impressed by your stuffy, pretentious, self-important self are other stuffy, pretentious, self-important people.

The rest aren’t impressed. They’re irritated, put off, and uncomfortable.

And they hate when you walk into the room.

8. … Because other people are always more important.

You already know what you know. You know your opinions. You know your perspectives and points of view.

That stuff isn’t important, because it’s already yours. You can’t learn anything from yourself.

But you don’t know what other people know, and everyone, no matter who he or she is, knows things you don’t know.

That makes other people a lot more important to you than you — because you can learn from them.

9. Choose your words wisely.

The words you use impact the attitude of others.

For example, you don’t have to go to a meeting; you get to go meet with other people. You don’t have to create a presentation for a new client; you get to share cool stuff with other people. You don’t have to go to the gym; you get to work out and improve your health and fitness.

You don’t have to interview job candidates; you get to select a great person to join your team.

We all want to associate with happy, enthusiastic, fulfilled people. The words you choose can help other people feel better about themselves — and make you feel better about yourself.

10. Never talk about the failings of other people…

Granted, we all like hearing a little gossip. We all like hearing a little dirt.

The problem is, we don’t necessarily like — and we definitely don’t respect — the people who dish that dirt.

Don’t laugh at other people. When you do, the people around you wonder if you sometimes laugh at them.

11. … But readily admit your own failings.

Incredibly successful people are often assumed to have charisma simply because they’re successful. Their success seems to create a halo effect, almost like a glow.

The key word is seem.

You don’t have to be incredibly successful to be remarkably charismatic. Scratch the shiny surface, and many successful people have all the charisma of a rock.

But you do have to be incredibly genuine to be remarkably charismatic.

Be humble. Share your screwups. Admit your mistakes. Be the cautionary tale. And laugh at yourself.

While you should never laugh at other people, you should always laugh at yourself.

People won’t laugh at you. People will laugh with you.

They’ll like you better for it — and they’ll want to be around you a lot more.

What’s the hardest truth of life?

By on Saturday, August 26th, 2017.

Crossing out Lies and writing Truth on a blackboard.

1. Your parents are the only people who become genuinely happy when you succeed.
2. People want to see you succeed… but not more than them.
3. A friend in need is a friend in deed. The reverse is true, if you get what i mean.
4. The way you are brought up contributes about 70% to the person you grow up to be. Unfortunately we dont get to choose our parents.
5. Genuine love is rare, if you stumble upon it cherish it.
6. Nobody will die for you. You are on your own so man up.
7. Life is so unfair but it is still beautiful.
8. Bad things happen to good people.
9. Growing up comes with more responsibilities, thus life gets even harder as you grow.
10. Life is a journey with an unknown destination. You only cross the bridge when you get there… sometimes you are not even sure whether the bridge is there or not. Live today tomorrow is not promised.

Did Paul McCartney redo his bass on Pepper between the original mono mix and stereo mix that Capitol Records ordered?

By on Friday, August 11th, 2017.

Something was bothering me about some of the bass playing when I revisited the Sgt Pepper mono mixes recently. It seemed to be missing bass lines that I knew by heart after so many years of listening. In fact it seems quite evident that there’s a lot of bass ‘flubs’ on the mono mix. Did McCartney go back into the studio and re-track his bass when they did the stereo mixes that Capitol Records ordered? I will use Fixing a Hole here as an example…. but first….

Some history: In late 1966 and early 1967 when the Fab Four set to work on “Sgt. Pepper” as the follow-up to “Revolver,” monaural sound was the dominant format for music.

Stereo counterparts often were created hastily for the U.S. and other foreign markets. Because the “Sgt. Pepper” stereo mix was better known in the U.S., Lennon once famously stated, “You haven’t heard ‘Pepper’ until you’ve heard the mono version.”

In part that’s because the group’s vocals are often divorced from the instrumental accompaniment, separated in different channels of the original stereo mix because that was how engineers charged with creating that version could get the job done quickly.

Just how quickly? George Martin and the Beatles spent about three weeks mixing the mono version; its stereo counterpart was completed in barely two days.


 So as any avid Beatle nut does, I loaded “Fixing a Hole” into Protools in my studio (both mono and stereo versions) and listened…

Check out each of these sections (Mono then Stereo)… you may need headphones for this…. or at least decent speakers…

Enjoy and see what you think. Aside from the obvious ‘left/right’ split of the stereo mix, the bass notes are different in these three examples:

  PS – That being said, I still like the whole album’s mono mixes better overall…

Is Social Media hurting you? – Borrowed from Kerry Song

By on Sunday, July 30th, 2017.

Social media is evolving, with the major platforms constantly offering new tools and features to attract and retain their users. Facebook has a live-streaming feature. Instagram has Stories. Twitter has the President’s tweets. Well, maybe that last one isn’t part of the evolution. But it’s certainly one of the aspects of social media that keeps us all spending time on it. In fact, the amount of time people spend on social media is consistently increasing. Teens spend a staggering 9 hours a day using social media – and some 13-year olds even check their social media accounts 100 times a day. A report from earlier this year noted that 69% of all U.S. adults are now social media users, often making social media a core part of their daily routine.

It’s understandable why social media has become such an integral factor in our day-to-day lives. It’s become the de facto way that many of us seek news updates, find entertainment, and even communicate with each other. But does all of the “liking,” “following,” and “commenting” mean we are truly connecting with each other?

Social connection is a healthy and necessary part of the human experience. A number of studies have examined the benefits of social ties, finding that people with strong social connection have lower levels of anxiety and depression, a stronger immune system, faster recovery times from illness and even an increased chance of longevity. And on the flip-side, studies have also shown that a lack of social connection is correlated with lower self-esteem, a lower sense of empathy for others, vulnerability to disease, higher blood pressure and an increased risk of depression.

But where does social media fit into all this? Does it count as a legitimate means of connection to others? Or is it actually isolating us even more than we even realize?


There have been a number of studies examining the consequences of social comparison – something most of us have experience with. One moment you’re scrolling innocently through a friend’s feed, then next thing you know you’re 4 months deep looking at their tropical vacation photos, wondering why you haven’t gone anywhere in years and why it’s taking so long to get your life on track so that you can actually take that trip you’ve been talking about for nearly a decade now.

Social comparison can also rear its ugly head when we start to compare our bodies and appearance to others, tearing ourselves down in the process. A study out of the UK surveyed 1500 Facebook and Twitter users, finding that 62% of the group reported feeling inadequate and 60% reported feelings of jealousy from comparing themselves to other users.

Even though we all know people strive to create that “picture perfect” life on social media, only posting photos that they want others to see – we still judge ourselves against that standard.

Previous research has also revealed that social media could potentially:


Of course, there are some skeptics who maintain that only those with lower self-esteem will be negatively impacted by social comparison. And some studies found social media has benefited relationships by reinforcing connections made in real life – which makes sense, particularly when you are staying in touch with old friends whom you would otherwise have little to no contact with.

Still, a recent study that examined Facebook use and well-being suggests that social media, in large part, may be doing more harm than good.

The study looked at over 5,000 adults from across the country to see how their mental and their physical health changed over time in association with Facebook activity over the course of two years. Their metrics for well-being included: life satisfaction, self-reported mental health, self-reported physical health and BMI (body mass index). Their metrics for Facebook use included: liking posts, creating posts and clicking on links. The researchers also had measures of the participant’s real-world social networks.

The study distinguishes itself from past research by its comprehensive analysis and multi-dimensional approach – using three waves of data over a period of two years, implementing objective measures of Facebook use, and integrating information about the participant’s real-world social networks which allowed them to directly compare face-to-face networks and online interactions.

What they found was astonishing: where face-to-face social interactions were positively correlated with overall well-being, Facebook activity was negatively associated. The results were especially telling when it came to mental health:

“Most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health and life satisfaction,” said the authors of the study, Holly Shakya and Nicholas Christakis.

The verdict on just why this correlation exists is still out. Researchers cannot say definitively why it occurs. But while prior research argued that it’s the quality of time spent on social media that really matters, Shakya and Christakis showed that it’s also the quantity of social media interactions that play a role.  So it’s not just screen time that impacts our well-being, but the fact that we replace meaningful social interaction with social media.

In short – social media is not a substitute for real world, face-to-face interactions with others.

With the average Facebook user spending nearly an hour on the site every day, and many of us checking social media apps almost immediately after we wake up every morning – it’s time we start assessing the influence social media is having in our lives. While it certainly has its merits and its allure, it may be hurting us in ways that we have yet to actively realize. But by becoming more aware of its impact, we can begin to take more proactive measures that allow us to be more in control of our health and our well-being.

Some Must Reads (thanks to Mako Britz)

By on Wednesday, July 5th, 2017.

“Man has the ability to change but one thing in life, but by changing that one thing, he changes his life”.

Epictetus: “Men are disturbed not by things that happen, but by their opinions of the things that happen.”

Ever feel yourself getting perturbed by something that happens during your day? Ever have the urge to say something about it, when silence might be the best approach? Perhaps you feel the need to make a judgment about each situation that arises.

Maybe it’s time to slow down a bit. As the song says, “Don’t worry – be happy!” The truth is – none of us have the right to judge others, nor their actions. We can control only one thing – our own actions. If there is something to be judged, it would be our reaction to things that happen, not the events themselves.

In Stephen Covey’s “Seven Habits,” Habit #5 says, “Seek first to understand, then to be understood.” In explaining, Covey states that “People do not see the world as it is; they see it as they are – or as they have been conditioned to be.” He goes on to make the simple statement that “When you understand, you don’t judge.”

“Once you take the time to understand each situation, there is no longer a need to judge. Interestingly, when others realize that you no longer make those judgments, you will find that they no longer judge you either.”

“Want to free yourself from being disturbed about the events of the day? Epictetus: “When considering the future, remember that all situations unfold as they do regardless of how we feel about them. Our hopes and fears sway us, not the events themselves”