3 Habits of Highly Engaging People

Author: Casey Gale       

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock

Networking is one of the most important aspects of our professional lives. But in order to make valuable connections, we need to be in the right frame of mind. At VisitBritain’s MeetGB event held in London April 19-20, Jonathan Bradshaw outlined exactly how to become our most social and engaging selves in his session, “The Fascinating Psychology Powering Exceptional People.”

“Think of a skill that we do all the time that powers our personal and professional success, that powers our enjoyment of life — that is interacting with other people,” said Bradshaw, founder of the Meetology Lab. “And just like driving, we should have a training course to be better at how to connect, build empathy, build trust, influence, and persuade.”

Here are a few of Bradshaw’s top takeaways on how to get in the networking zone:

1. Smile like you mean it. “Many psychologists have found that if you are happy, as humans we smile — and if we smile, we become happy. The learning here is that our brain looks at our body and says, ‘Well, I must be happy because I’m smiling.’ That’s why smiling at someone and telling them you’re miserable is so difficult. In the privacy of your own room, if you ever want to be in a certain emotional state, acting as if you are already in that stage has been shown to be very powerful.”

2. Take care of yourself. “We’ve heard of the idea of being ‘hangry.’ Food makes us feel happier, and you need to make sure you sleep. Sleep deprivation makes us less cooperative, less social. So be aware that sleep and food can have a big impact on how you’re feeling.”

3. Dress to impress yourself. “What we wear changes our emotional state. We don’t wear things on purpose to feel unconfident, do we? And it’s not about this color or this jacket or this blouse making us feel a certain way. It’s about anchoring ourselves in an emotional state we can reconnect with later on. You can also use music or smell [when getting ready to go out] — these are also anchors.”