During the last three months, I’ve browsed through and read approximately 47 business self help-books (give or take three.) Most are full of crap: wear business casual clothes to an interview, be polite and ensure that you do not have any hang nails during job interviews. Other books offer more practical business and interviewing advice and still others offer advice that may be applicable in more than just business.
I just finished “Convince Them in 90 Seconds” by Nicholas Boothman and while I have yet to test out the principles in his book, I am confident that his ideas are more practical than those contained in most books. Nicholas Boothman’s idea is that people decide who they trust and like within seconds of meeting them. Instead of just analyzing yourself as most self-help books do, he suggests doing experiments on other people instead. In one chapter, he suggests that his readers go to a public place and rate the people they see based on certain personality traits without even talking to them.
The book “Convince Them in 90 Seconds” also contains a multitude of ways for people to increase their EQ by making sure that their body language is open and matches the communication that they are trying to portray. Crossed arms are supposedly a no-no and eye contact is a must.
Another strong piece of advice in “Convince Them in 90 Seconds” is the art of listening, which many in the business world and elsewhere have failed to master. Nicholas Boothman cites the example of a young woman who had dinner back-to-back with two accomplished men of equal intelligence in stature. One had her believing that she was equally accomplished and the other just talked endlessly about his own accomplishments. As Nicholas Boothman observes, no one really likes or trusts a blow hard and everyone likes to be listened to.
In “Convince Them in 90 Seconds,” the author also writes about four different personality types: the Dreamer, the Analyst, the Persuader and the Controller. Each type has their own strength and weakness.
The idea that social skills can be taught is relatively new and is important in today’s tech-driven society. People who haven’t interacted as much with others need to learn how to meet and greet others, whether it is for a job interview, a new job, or at a social engagement. Don’t let anybody ever tell you that social skills don’t matter.