019: Increasing Likability with Arel Moodie

By June 3, 2016Podcasts

Arel Moodie headshot and quote “If we make people smile when they are around us, we'll be more influential and we'll be more memorable” from interview in episode 19 of the How to be Awesome At Your Job Podcast with Pete MockaitisSpeaker/author and fellow career podcast host Arel Moodie teaches us the do’s and don’t’s for how to be well liked in all areas of life.

You’ll learn:

1) A quick way to craft texts or emails into more likable, powerful messages
2) The power of a smile, and the impact it can have on people remembering you
3) Easy ways to make people around you feel special every day

About Arel
Arel Moodie has given the TEDx talk on Likability and wrote the Forbes article on the subject. Arel has been quoted in The New York Times, Businessweek and USA Today. He’s given presentations to over 255,000 people in 48 states and 5 countries. Arel Moodie was named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30” list. Arel Moodie was personally acknowledged by President Obama two years in a row for his work as a leader in America and has been a featured speaker at the White House. He’s was selected as one of the 100 world “Leaders of Tomorrow” by the St. Gallen Symposium, an international organization in Switzerland.

Items mentioned in the show:

 

Speaker/author and fellow career podcast host Arel Moodie teaches us the do’s and don’t’s for how to be well liked in all areas of life.

You’ll learn:

1) A quick way to craft texts or emails into more likable, powerful messages
2) The power of a smile, and the impact it can have on people remembering you
3) Easy ways to make people around you feel special every day

About Arel
Arel Moodie has given the TEDx talk on Likability and wrote the Forbes article on the subject. Arel has been quoted in The New York Times, Businessweek and USA Today. He’s given presentations to over 255,000 people in 48 states and 5 countries. Arel Moodie was named to Inc. Magazine’s prestigious “30 Under 30” list. Arel Moodie was personally acknowledged by President Obama two years in a row for his work as a leader in America and has been a featured speaker at the White House. He’s was selected as one of the 100 world “Leaders of Tomorrow” by the St. Gallen Symposium, an international organization in Switzerland.

Items mentioned in the show:

Arel Moodie Interview Transcript

Pete Mockaitis
Arel, thanks so much for appearing on the How to be Awesome at Your Job Podcast.

Arel Moodie
Man, thanks for having me, Pete. I’m pumped to be here.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, well we’re pumped to have you and I know we might be small potatoes though because I understand you were just featured on Ellen. Is this true?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, man, it’ really so unbelievably ridiculous andcrazy, but literally maybe two years ago now, I was playing basketball with my son. You know it was the craziest thing because basically usually when I play basketball, there’s no one else around but this time, I told my wife, “Hey, you’re here. Record me. Let me work on my jump shot mechanics. Just record me.”My mom was there. She was basically telling me, “Hey, listen. Don’t hit your kid in the head with the ball.”I was like, “What are the odds of me‑” it’s good advice. Good parenting. I was like, “What are the odds? like it’s a small ball. It’s a small kid. We have the whole court to ourselves.” Like three shots in, I totally nailed my kid in the head with a basketball and I posted it on Facebookbecause I thought it was funny. It went viral. It got like 2 million views. Then I started getting these messages saying, “Oh, man, that video was on Ellen yesterday.” She has a segment called Epic or Fail, so it was on there. I started to get all these messages and all this stuff it was really cool, so now we’re just kind of running with it and seeing what fun we can have from technically being on the show and seeing we can parlay it into something a little bit more featured.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s right. Well, it is funny. When it comes to professional speakers, though, they’ve got a way of turning everything into a bio item.

Arel Moodie
It’s totally going on my bio. It’s totally going on my bio. There’s no question you know you’re featured in one of the most popular daytime shows and you just let it ride.

Pete Mockaitis
It’s good, but it had nothing to do with your wisdom or your content, just nailing your child with a basketball.

Arel Moodie
I’ll give you a pointer. I’ll give everyone listening. This is a really important lesson, right? It’s all about positioning, so the way that I’m going to add it is so this is the second video that I posted that went viral. I have another video that’s actually a wedding dance me and my wife did, getting like 3.5 million views, so it’s just random. It’s not anything that we necessarily planned but just as a little joke, you know at the end of the bio, I’m going to add, “Arel Moodie has two viral videos, and one of those videos was actually featured on The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” so totally legit, totally a fact. It’s not like, “Arel’s speaking success was put on a show.”But I really am a big believer in positioning and making sure you’re not lying but shedding the best light you possibly can to be awesome at what you do.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, that’s great and I think your podcast is a fine job of that as well and I’ll tell you when I was shopping around, thinking about my positioning and branding and the kind of stuff I want to cover. But how do I make it seem kind of unique and fresh, I really liked what you’re doing there with your podcast, The Art of Likability because it’s broad in that it covers a lot of stuff but it also it has some focus. I think it’s in a real sweet spot there and I understand it’s doing well.

Arel Moodie
You know it’s really exciting. It really was something that was birthed from the idea that I genuinely in my heart of hearts believe that the most valuable thing we have in this entire world are our relationships. Our business ventures succeed because of our relationships. Our personal relationships dictate our level of happiness. I mean just think about it like if you had all the money that you could ever want but no real people to share it with, it’s not a happy life, and if you have maybe not all the money but you have great relationships and great friendships and a great marriage or boyfriend/girlfriend situation, life is beautiful.

I realized that a lot of people want these great relationships but the sticking point is just likability because we don’t invest in people unless we initially like them and we don’t stay invested in people unless we like them. It’s just if we look at every relationship we have, we may love people but not like them. I realized that if we can show people systematically like, “Hey you have a good heart and you want to do good, you just are literally are a doofus like I was for so long and don’t know what to do,” we show them how to do that in every episode we put out one a week. We cover things for a lot of business professional but also personal relationships, romantic relationships, parenting. It’s a really a cool gamut because I think if your relationships are on-point, everything else in your life is on-point.

Pete Mockaitis
I hear you,  it makes sense. Well now, you’ve got me super intrigued. I buy it that there is good data and research behind. I don’t know if you have particular studies that you want to cite, but I know that Dr. Robert Cialdini and his book, Influence, talked about the six principles or weapons ‘liking’ gets right up there in terms of fundamental drive that leads to humans wanting to respond to other humans. I got us call them humans because we’re being scientific now. That’s cool. Do you have like any other super compelling studies to kind of build the case for why like it’s so critical. I think intuitively that makes sense, but if you have any striking studies or hard data, that’s even more fun.

Arel Moodie
Yeah, absolutely. There’s amazing data that goes out. I mean if you look at just general data, there’s like a billion indexes for presidential elections – how, what’s there, what’s their likability index, what’s their rating, their approvals. There’s really a cool study of 50,000 executives by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman. They’re from the Simon Faulkner Foundation and they found that the folks who are asking for feedback and those who do that are more likable and if they ask for feedback and they’re more likable, they become more effective in what they do. When you look at job satisfaction, there was a Gallup poll when they found that I think – let me get the exact numbers here – it was 3 out of 10 people like the work that they do and 7 out of 10 don’t. There’s 70 percent of the workforce that literally don’t like the work that they did and when they interviewed that 7 out of 10, what they found is that the main challenges that they had were directly the relationship the they had with their supervisor or manager.

It wasn’t that the work that they were doing is what caused the 7 out of 10 people to hate their job. It was their relationship with their direct supervisor or manager, and that’s  all relationship skills and people skills. If we can change that, I mean we can literally change the entire workforce if we just gave people some really specific skills that I think don’t –  because I think when people think likability, they immediately think high school popularity contest, not being good at what you do and just being like a used car salesman. The truth is that may have worked in high school, but that’s not what it is in the real world.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, so I’m sold. I’m convinced. It’s common sense, and there is hard data to it, and I’ve seen organizations just kind of crumble apart because of people don’t like their bosses and it’s a darn shame that all the good work that they’ve started gets kind of cut short or shifted over to someone else who has to learn anew, and the progress of society is diminished all because of some jerks in cubicles.

Arel Moodie
Yeah. The funny thing is that the jerks never think that they’re a jerk. You know whenever you are dealing with someone who is a tough cookie, or someone who people are kind of like, “Man, if this person was just this, everything would be better.” The thing is that person never thinks they’re a problem. There may be a small percentage of population who know they’re jerks and purposely they’re jerks but usually it’s us thinking the other person is the problem.

We never shine the light on ourselves, and we always go “if we go this person just figured out the world would be better” and one of the big things that I do is I say, “Hey, the stuff that we teach don’t say to yourself, “Yo, this would be really cool if my coworkers or my boyfriend or girlfriend or wife or husband started doing it.”It’s more about what you can do because at the end at the end of the day you can’t really change someone else. You can only affect change on yourself and that change of yourself can inspire others to change.

So it’s really about taking responsibility and I love to go on like specific things people can do but just think of any job you’ve ever had in your life if you had a good experience with the work culture, with the people. I mean you could be shoveling dog poop but it would still be a fun environment. I worked in McDonald’s in high school and the work itself was miserable, but I had great people that were frying the burgers with me and frying the chicken and all the stuff we’re doing in the bag, so it was fun. So the relationships and people really are the element.I get to speak to corporations, to businesses about how to create that culture because people just don’t get it, and when they do get it, you see amazing results.

Pete Mockaitis
All right, I’m in. So tell us what are some of the top let’s say innocent mistakes? We say we don’t know that we’re jerks but we’re doing some things that are a little bit off or askew in terms of like maybe most frequently occurring and most devastating or impactful. What are some of the things we need to stop doing or start doing to come across more likably?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, so we’ll go start and stop behavior. So stop behavior, there’s a really great book that was put up by the Arbinger Institute and it’s called Leadership and Self-Deception. It’s a very quick read. It’s in a story form but it’s one of the most quintessential mistakes that people make is that they treat the people they’re interacting with as things or objects to help them achieve their goals, so I go, “Hey, Pete, I want to jump on your show but I don’t really care about you, Pete. I just care about being on your show and having your listeners hear my voice and maybe they’ll go ahead and listen to my podcast.”

If I come out, I mean you’ve probably interviewed people and you can tell if some people’s soul Is in it and maybe interview some people and you felt like their soul really isn’t in it because they’re not really seeing your or the audience members as people, as humans. They’re seeing them as things on their to-do list or mechanisms to help them with their goals.

One of the biggest stop behaviors and it happens daily. It’s not like you hear this and it’s done forever, is when you’re interacting with people, you have to be very aware, “Am I treating this person like a thing that’s going to help me reach a goal, or am I treating this person like a human? Am I treating them with just am I using soft words?”You see this in emails tremendously where people see emails as just data exchange like, “Pete, give me a report at 3:00, Arel.” Like I will never speak to you like that in real life and if I send you that email, as I’m sending it, I’m like, “Why do I got to go through all these pleasantries? I just need the report by 3:00.” But then when you receive it, you kind of get this little like, “Was he kind of yelling at me? Was he barking orders at me?” That causes a rift. That rift may never be talked about, that rift may seem like, you may say to yourself, “Oh, this is small. Everyone is under pressure.”

But what we know is that if we hit an oak tree in the same place over and over and over again, even if we’re hitting it with a baseball bat, eventually that oak tree is going to get weak and then overtime it will break and that’s what happens in most relationships. It’s really not that one big thing that destroys a relationship. It’s these little things and most of the time these little things revolve around us, Pete, treating people like to-dos or machines or just mechanisms to help us reach our goals versus treating people like humans with just simple respect and kind words.

If you look at the best leaders, this is what they do. It doesn’t take more time by the way, me saying, ”Hey, Pete! Hope all is going well. The project is really coming down to deadline. I appreciate all your help. If I can get the report by 3:00, it will really make sure that we achieve our goal.” It literally may take me five or seven more seconds to type that email, but the relationship gets built and strengthened versus weakened.

Pete Mockaitis
Now I hear you. I’ve been on the receiving end of some emails and it’s like I get a little snarky sometimes. I‘m thinking, “What I think you mean to say was, thank you so much Pete.” I think what you meant was, “Thank you for staying up late and handling that.”

Arel Moodie
Right – no. That’s the thing about email, too, which is so crazy. There are so many challenges and wars that happen over email because you know there’s no tonality, there’s no vocal inflection, you know so I can read something and this is great. Oh, man, it’s great. There’s these comedians, Key and Peele. I don’t know‑

Pete Mockaitis
I love them.

Arel Moodie
I love Key and Peele.

Pete Mockaitis
I was so sad when it was off the air.

Arel Moodie
I know! It’s like why would they – it was the greatest sketch comedy show since Dave Chappell hands down.

Pete Mockaitis
Well, I’m … what would you say next.

Arel Moodie
Yeah. But no, they’ve got this great skit and if you haven’t seen it yet, it’s this texting skit where they’re buddies texting each other. One dude reading it in like the worst possible way and his other buddy is totally like, “Oh, this is just like an awesome thing and by the end of the skit, one of the characters is like running into a bar with like a spiked baseball bat. It’s such a great example of how there’s this miscommunication and how it’s just some simple words and additional moments of care could completely diffuse someone wanting to take a spiked baseball bat to your head.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that’s great. That’s great. Okay, so treating people like people andnot like things as well as taking extra notes in sort of your text communication, which you don’t have tonality or facial expressions. What are some of your kind of clear do’s and don’ts?

Arel Moodie
Right. So some very clear things, so for example let’s say, Pete, if we were in the same physical space and we were working together and I needed you to get me something and I said, “Hey, Pete, hand me that.” I’m giving you the direction that I need to happen but in that moment, it really would actually create a rift where just taking a few moments to make sure to say please and thank you. It sounds so simple, but if we actually went throughout our day and paid attention to how many people said please or thank you to us when they communicated with us, we’d realize how little it actually gets said. Something as simple as, “Hey, Pete, could you pass me that please? Thank you so much.” Like that completely changes the tone and feel of, “Pete, could you hand me that?”

So I’m really a big advocate of going back to like the old school fundamentals and I actually believe overly doing it. I would rather say please and thank you too much than not say it enough. I always err on the side of being more respectful than less respectful, so like if I meet someone, I’ll call them mister or doctor if they are of that title or they are older than me, and then I’ll let them say, “Call me John,” or whatnot because it’s just a level of respect. I’d rather them pull back.

I highly encourage people to take the time to really notice how often you hear the word please and thank you and then do another self-assessment and say how often am I using please and thank you throughout the day. I think you’d be surprised how little we actually use it because we’re such a data-transfer oriented kind of culture now. But when you do that, it really changes the game and it causes people around you to like you way more.

Pete Mockaitis
That totally makes sense, absolutely. Please and thank you, solid. What’s next? I was just going to keep pumping you …

Arel Moodie
Yeah – no. This is one of the big things that when I go out and I do the speaking engagements on this stuff is that I want you to imagine that every single human being is walking around with a sign that’s around their neck, that’s like a big bright neon blinking sign that says, “Please, make me feel special.” Like every human being has this deep down desire to want to feel as if they’re unique and special, and there’s a lot of simple things that you can do.

One of my two favorite things to do and  it’s not hard. It doesn’t take a lot of time, and by the way, none of this likability stuff is. It’s really easy. I’ll give you a great example. Let’s say you’re in office and you’re going up to the water cooler, if you want some water or you’re going up to maybe if you want some coffee. I always encourage people to get two cups of water or two cups of coffee; you know one for you and as you’re walking back to your office, hand a couple of water to someone else. Hand a cup of coffee and say, “Hey, do you want some water? Do you want some coffee?” Just like build that kind of legend as the dude that’s always doing that, and people will so appreciate you for doing these simple things because you made them in that moment feel special.

There’s a great game that I enjoy playing called Phonebook Roulette. I do it with my past clients, I do it with my friends and family. Everyday around 2 o’clock it is for me. You can choose whatevertime you want. I set an alarm and my phone it goes off that says, “Contact someone today and say hi.” When that goes off, I literally open up my phone, I go to the contacts section. I scroll up, I scroll down, I scroll up, scroll up, scroll up, and then I just stop on however my fingers lands on. If it’s a client or if it’s a friend, whoever it is, I’ll just contact them with no agenda and just say, “Hey, Pete, it’s Arel. Thanks so much for interviewing me a couple of weeks back. Man, I just wanted to check in. How’s the podcast going? Is there anything cool or exciting in your life? Let me know.”

It’s no agenda. It’s not like I’m going to ask you to help me move something a week later. I’m not going to try to sell you something or, “Hey, I got this really great coaching program. You know now that we’re talking, I should tell you about this.” No agenda. If we really take the time to think when was the last time someone reached out to us without an agenda, when was the last time a coworker or a boss, or a friend reached out to you just to check in with you, I would assume two things, 1) It probably doesn’t happen often, and 2) The person who does that is someone you cherish and someone that you like very, very much.

I highly encourage business professionals to do this if you work with clients or if you’re a customer service rep, or if you’re in sales, really specifically if you’re in sales. You know set a time each day to reach out to one, maybe two clients with no agenda, not trying to up-sell or cross-sell them, down-sell them, or anything like that, just check in how are things been going. I remember last time we talked about little Suzie was going to her high school play. How did everything work out with the play?
With no agenda, it’s like a breath of fresh air or they will be waiting for the like, ‘when’s the hit coming?’

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, totally. It’s like what do you want? What’s happening?

Arel Moodie
I’m just checking in on you. When you break that paradigm. I’m softening you up to do some type of task, people will be like, “Wow! Pete is different. I feel special.” One of the things that I think people don’t understand about characteristics and how we feel about people, the way that I feel when I’m around you is the feeling and characteristic that I assign to you.

So, When I’m around, Pete, if I feel powerful. I believe Pete is powerful. If I’m around, Pete, I feel loved that I feel that Pete is a loving man. If when I’m around Pete, I feel respected. I believe Pete is a respected man, so literally you kind of ask yourself what is it that I’d want people to say about me behind my back in a good way, of course, right? Whatever it is that you want people to say about you, that’s the exact way you treat people and that’s how you get them to feel that way about you.
If you want to be someone who’s considered powerful, treat people and make them feel powerful. If you want to be someone who’ considered charismatic, make other people feel charismatic, and when you do that, they’re going to assign those characteristic traits to you, and then you literally can build this almost legend who you are by simply following some really old wise wisdom, which is treat others the way you like to be treated.

Pete Mockaitis
I totally agree with that. That’s been my experience like the folks who seem super in-demand and just beloved are the ones who make me feel just awesome. They always have sort of compliments and observations. They seem genuinely curious about what I’m up to and how it’s going, and it’s like everybody likes them.

Arel Moodie
Right, and you know one of the cool things that you’ll notice about the most cool people, which is so fascinating and now that we share this, people will be able to do it, when people usually have conversations, whether it’s networking or business related, it’s always kind of a size-up conversation. “Oh so, Pete, how many downloads‑ ” like I didn’t ask you that. When you said, “Hey, you want to be in the show, I was like, I checked it out, I love what he’s doing. I want to be part of it, but I’m sure a lot of people are like, “How many downloads you get? How many listeners you got? How many countries are you featured in? How long have you been‑” like they’re kind of sizing you up to see…

Pete Mockaitis
“Is it worth it for me?”

Arel Moodie
To see is this person and then that’s how you treat people like a thing or a mechanism, right, where if you go, “Oh, man, this is a great podcast.” You sent me this really detailed link, and I was very appreciative because it cut down a lot of me having to ask you questions that you probably assume people will ask you anyway. So I took a look, “Okay, this person is legit. They seem like they really care. They put a lot of effort into it. I totally want to be supportive of an environment like that.”
When you notice people are not seizing you up but they’re generally of interest, “Okay, what are you doing? Why do you care about this? What made you start this?” And they become interested in you, the more interested we are in others, not sizing them up, the more interesting we get to become around everyone we interact with.” So it’s really cool because you become kind of a Sherlock Holmes of life, like an anthropologist of everyone you met like, “What is it that you do? Why do you do this? What makes you tick? We’d love those people. We love ‑ ”

Those are the Will Smiths of the world and they’re like charismatic people that just seems so in love with life because they really have a curiosity about life and that curiosity is kind of a little child’s curiosity and we love that energy. Anyone can tap into that.You’re not born with it. It’s not a skill. You just become genuinely interested in other people and life opens up and people love being around you.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s beautiful. I love it, and thank you also for the compliment about what I’m up to, I appreciate that and what you’re up to, so yay! Interesting stuff all the way around. I think you shared some fantastic pieces associated with kind of word choice and mindset and principles. I’d love to maybe touch base a little bit on some of the nonverbal pieces, whether that’s tone of voice, or facial expression, or rappoire, mirroring, posture like some of those things.I think that’s very easy for folks to overlook. Even myself I’m allegedly a professional speaker myself and my fiancée said to me that while we were conversing, my face looked judgmental. I was like, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to do that at all. I was just thinking hard about what you said.” It’s  like, oops.I imagine people probably do tons of thingsthey don’t even know that they’re doing. What are some things that we should be on the lookout for and how can we not do those things?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, absolutely. That’s a really, really good point you bring out. Everybody has their own whether it’s a physical crutch or verbal crutch, some people say ‘like’ a thousand times or some people they have like this death stare and they don’t even think they have a death stare. Everyone has their own particular kind of foibles that they need to be aware of and only way you become aware of it is by having people who you love, like in your case your fiancée, being very honest with you.

But there are some very general things that people do and they don’t even know it’s a problem. For example, I never ever, ever ,ever have a conversation directly in front of someone. I always stand at an angle to them or at their side when we have a conversation because there’s a lot of research into kind of fight-or-flight and our responses to threats and what we’ve actually found is that being directly in front of someone is the quintessential adversarial stance.

Whether you’re a friend or a foe, if you’re standing directly in front of me, there’s actually kind of almost a biological reaction that there is an adversary, like it’s me versus you. When you stand at someone’s side when you speak to them or at kind of a V angle so like you if you look at that person and you’d actually kind of like draw a V, so I always take a step closer to someone and step out, so I’m open, so that we’re next to each other. You see this there’s a lot of office construction that the CEO’s desk is not created so that anyone can sit across from the desk but they sit kind of like as an L to the side of the desk so you’re on the side with the CEO.

I highly encourage people than when you have conversations with people, that you step to the side and you speak to them almost not like a straight line to the side. It’s hard to describe audio without you seeing it, but if you can imagine instead of being directly across from someone like they are across from a desk that they’re sitting catty-cornered on a desk. That’s where you should stand because then you’re on the person’s like figuratively and literally you’re on the person’s side. It actually allows people to drop their guard and then you’ll have people say things like, “Oh, wow! I just feel comfortable around you. I’m not sure why.” It’s because you’re not standing in an adversarial place.

Pete Mockaitis
It’s great. So seating position is excellent. What else?

Arel Moodie
So I highly … there’s a really interesting study. I forgot who did it, but I credit them fully, but basically what the study was is they took a shopping experience and they did everything exactly the same. The only difference is that when the person gave change to the person, instead of handing them the change, they put it on the table and they slid the change over to the person.

In the test group, what they did is they took the change and they put it into the person’s hand as they gave them the change. So there was just this human touch like a very simple human touch that happened. What they actually found is that the customers’ service rating of the people who left the store who had the human touch was significantly greater than the people who had the change passed to them by sliding it across the counter top to them.

What I used that with is whenever I have a conversation with someone, I’ll laugh and then I might touch their elbow. It’s something that you really have to kind of practice because you don’t want to turn like a creep who’s rubbing someone’s arm like way too long like being like but what you’ll see from the most successful people like when they shake hands, they’ll shake your hand and touch your elbow at the same time or they’ll shake your hand and touch your shoulder, or shake your hand touch the top of your hand. There is an additional level of human touch, or I might get next to someone and I’ll like pat them on the shoulder if they say something funny, “Oh, Pete, that was so funny.” When I say the word Pete, I touch your shoulder, “Oh, Pete, that’s so funny.”

It’s not a hard slap. It’s not anything you would ever notice. I’m not doing it ever so that the person can be like, “This dude just hit me,” or “This dude just touched my elbow.” You won’t even know that it’s happening, but when I shake your hand, I’ll always make sure if it’s appropriate if I’m like meeting the president of a company for the first time, I’ll kind of mirror the body language he does.But for most people, if I feel like I’m in equal footing or if I feel like they’re looking up to me, I’ll do an extra touch. Then if it’s someone whose I believe the stature is above me, I’ll mirror whatever body language they give me out of a level of respect.

What I found is that the more I introduce subtle touches, back of the hand when you shake the hand, a slap on the shoulder when someone says something funny, an elbow touch that, “Oh, man you’re such a rock star.” When I say rock star, I’m like give him a little gentle shove like, “Wow! You’re so cool!”What I actually find is that when you introduce nonsexual, non-creepy, non-weird just human connection through touch, you actually increase like your ability without anyone knowing why.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah, that’s good. I think for me there’s maybe a little bit of apprehension there, I guess maybe like a warm-up with my close friends.

Arel Moodie
Yeah – no. And the thing is you’re literally breaking the bubble.

Pete Mockaitis
Yeah.

Arel Moodie
Everyone has a personal space. What I tend to find to do is – and again there’s two things I keep in mind they start doing this. In the beginning, you’re totally going to mess up, right? Like there is nothing that we do like if you’ve never played baseball and I put a bat in your hand and I say swing, your first swing is not going to be a homerun like no one’s first swing is a homerun. When you start standing next to people or if you start touching their shoulder, you’re going to be like uncomfortable about it.

What I would encourage you to do is in my podcast, we call this being like a likability connoisseur. Notice the person at your job or the one person of your friend group that’s like the life of the party or the likable person, or anyone that you admire. I think if you start observing their behavior, you’ll start to see how much to see how much they introduce touch and what I would recommend doing is when you see someone who is very good, you’d be a connoisseur of it. You see how they introduce it and you really try to mimic it because if you just kind of start rubbing someone’s shoulder, it’s really going to be uncomfortable, but you’ll realize what’s too much and what’s too little. But you have to be okay with failing with anything in life, and this is no different.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, all right. I’m sold. I’m sold. But what I think about as I’m trying to be a bit of a connoisseur here, I think about the most likable people, one thing that they seem to have in common is they are not in a hurry. It’s like they could just chat with you for a good long time and I think that’s pretty impressive is the patience that they exude. Do you have any observations around that?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, you know one of the gentlemen that I met in college was like he was the quintessential cool guy. I mean I learned so much from just observing. He was a frat brother of mine. He would do this one thing, and I totally have incorporated it in my life ever since I saw him do it. We’d be on campus and we’d be walking.
Let’s say I saw him across campus. What most people do is they kind of, they wave, “Hey, what’s going on? How are you doing, Pete?” There’s like a wave that happens and they move on. Whatever he was doing, he would walk over to you, no matter how far away he was from you, he would walk over to you, give you a handshake, a little bit of a hug, say, “How are you doing?” Then that moment, he made eye contact. It’s a very big thing when most people when they say hello in their first interaction, they do not use eye contact. They usually look away from the person. Maybe they look at their mouth because that eye contact is too personal.

What I noticed he always did he always will go out of his way to walk up and shake your hand, look you in the eyes and say, “Hey, what’s going on. It’s so good to see you. What class you’re going to? I don’t want to keep you, I just want to say hi and see what’s up. It’s good to see you.” For that one moment, no other human being existed except you and him.

When you start replicating that, you don’t necessarily have to spend a lot of time where it’s like I have to sit down and have coffee with someone for an hour like literally in the moment if you say, “Hey, how are you doing? It’s good to see you. I’ll talk to you later,” versus, “Oh,my gosh! Pete. It’s so good to see you. How is everything man? When is the wedding?”Oh, man, it’s so beautiful.I wish we have more time to talk but I’m in a rush. But let’s definitely find some time to get together. I really look forward to connecting with you more.”

In that moment, I’m showing that I care about you, and I’m interested in what is going on in your life, that I remember something about you if I have the facility to do so, but the key is going out of your way and again it’s making people feel special to connect with them, to have this conversation. What I highly encourage people to do if they want to kind of level this up is find one person per week. I want to do per day because I have a friend who actually does per day. He’s amazing at this. He has a mortgage business and when the mortgage business tanked, when the real estate tanked, his business boomed. What he does is every single day, he finds one person that’s like a past client or business associate and he will send them like a really cool gift or he’ll meet with them just to catch up with them. And when I say send them a cool gift like he’ll send them Bulls tickets, or he’ll find out,like this one Middle Eastern client he had who really loved baklava, so he sent them a sheet of baklava. It’s like it’s never with a note of, “Hey, if you ever need a mortgage, let me know.” They know who he is. They know what he does, but he takes the time and he did it daily.

For me I just found that too aggressive, but I try every week to find one person to not just every day I send a text or a Facebook message, but every week, I try to find one person that I can just connect with. Whether it’s send them a handwritten letter or send them a personalized gift if I don’t have time, and if I have time, I’ll meet with them. But if you don’t have time, it’s just making sure that in that moment you’re conscious that no one else exists in the world except this one person and then if you level up, you meet with one person a week. You have over 50 people in a year who think you have the bee’s knees. That really over time compounds, and opportunities open up that you can’t even foresee. There’s no strategy that could ever be as powerful as having an army of people who like you and want to see you succeed.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s well said, well said, very good. Now I guess – well time is flying here, maybe it’s the last tidbits before we shift gears into the fast faves section. Can you talk a little bit about vocal patterns whether that is pace of speech or intonation of speech or I guess the pace and the volume and the tone. What impact does that have on likability and are there any kind of best practices or things we should watch out for?

Arel Moodie
Absolutely. I mean based on where you’re from, it’s going to dictate a lot of your speech patterns. I’m from New York, so you probably hear that I speak very fast. It’s just kind of who I am. I don’t say my “ers”, I say “whadda” not “wat-er.” You know, it’s just kind of a localized where I’m from, so if I’m from the south, they may have a slower speech pattern. I would say one as kind of a number one, matching and mirroring is just textbook. If you are in a place where people are speaking slower, you should be more conscious to speak slow. I actually just spoke to a group of executive managers out in California and when I was done, a young lady came up to and said, “I love everything about your presentation, but boy, do you talk rally fast.” I forgot I was in California where they’re a little bit slower paced and a little bit more cool and relaxed.

So, one matching and mirroring and knowing your crowd is quintessential, but what I would add to that that doesn’t necessarily get talked about a lot is the idea of vocal variety. You’ll notice that whether you speak fast or slow, you know soften your voice. Right now I’m speaking with a softer voice. Then I get really excited then I’m speaking tempo and higher timbre in my voice, or something bad happens, I’ll go, “Oh, my gosh!” like that’s so horrible to hear. You’re most interested in movies, in TV shows that have tons of variety. We’re interested in social media. If you think about it, if you look at the way people scroll through Instagram or Facebook their feeds, they’re constantly scrolling for variation. They’re first looking for fun.

Pete Mockaitis
Amusement.

Arel Moodie
Yeah, amuse me and make me laugh. They make me cry. They make me feel like excited so literally one of the reasons we’re so ‑I believe I’ve done the research but it’s just a personal belief. The reason why we’re so addicted to that social media thing is because it gives us so much variety. It gives us so many different feelings, motivation. Funny, we can find it instantly. If we can actually replicate what happens on social media in our conversations by speeding up when we talk or bringing things down a little bit to emphasize points, you’ll actually find more people will be drawn to you and interested to hear you speak.

Pete Mockaitis
Okay, I’m sold. So tell me, is there anything else you want to make sure that we cover off before we kind of shift gears into the rapid-fire question pieces?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, you know the big thing and this is learning and potential actualization, one-on-one we talked about I mean we want to be going for like little over half an hour, we talked about tons of stuff. You’re drinking from a fire hose like, “Pete is a really good interviewer. You’re getting tons of content. You’re listening to this. You’re going to go a lot of content.”

What I highly recommend doing is finding one thing and implementing it and just doing it. We only put one episode a week on our The Art of Likability podcast when we could do way more, but the whole goal is to do one thing this week. That’s it, so if I say, “Hey, bring people, go get a cup of water, and get two, one for you, one for someone else, and that’s all you do, that’s total victory.”

What happens is we try to run a marathon right off the couch and we pull a muscle, we say it’s too hard. I don’t want to do it, so whatever it is that you want to do with likability, whether it is making people feel special or being more present or stopping, treating people like they’re a tool, whatever it is just choose one and then work on that until it becomes second nature. Like God willingly you’ll live a really long life. You don’t have to cram it all in 24 hours. Spread it out as a marathon mindset and you’ll notice that it’s easier to do and it’s more effective.

Pete Mockaitis
It’s great. It’s funny when you say, “Treat people like a tool,” I was just thinking about if you’re interested-interesting thing. If you treat people like a tool, then they will think you’re a tool. Making connections here, right?

Arel Moodie
Pete, I’m totally stealing that!

Pete Mockaitis
It’s the least I could do …Let’s shift gears here to the fast faves. Could you share with us what is your favorite quote, something that inspires you repeatedly?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, absolutely. Gosh! It’s such a popular quote, but it’s just so real. It’s Thomas Edison quote that says, “I haven’t failed 10,000 times. I have just found 10,000 ways it hasn’t worked.” The more we realized that everything we want is just one try away, one punch away if it was a boxing match of life, the more we get excited about our failures because the way that’s much closer to a win.

Pete Mockaitis
Awesome! How about a favorite study, or experiment, or piece of research?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, so I really love, so there was research that was done by Indiana University and they put on facial recognition software. They had people watch commercials and what they found is that the number one predictor of how successful a commercial would be if someone actually would purchase something or have good recall of the commercial they saw way after it was over was if the person smiled while watching the commercial, not laughed, not anything but smiled.What I took that to mean was that if we can actually make people smile, not just us smiling at them but if we make people smile when they are around us, we’ll be more influential and we’ll be more memorable based on that research, so I always love that one.

Pete Mockaitis
Oh, that’s good. It’s also great advice for anyone trying to text a young lady or a young man in the romantic pursuits.

Arel Moodie
Use the smiley face emoticon. It would d change your life. It’s a goal.

Pete Mockaitis
The text is to make them smile and not to say what’s up. How about a favorite book?

Arel Moodie
Oh, man. Tons of favorite books. I read tons of books, but you know I recently just finished a really, really great book. It’s called The Magic of Thinking Big. It’s by David Schwartz. Fantastic book to stretch your comfort zone and your horizon, just a fantastic read.

Pete Mockaitis
Favorite website or online resource?

Arel Moodie
You know I get tons of like pop culture references from Yahoo.com. One of the things that I do to stay relevant, you know I do a lot of speaking – I don’t watch the news, but what’s really cool about just Yahoo.com is that wherever it’s most popular or whatever is most trending nationwide, the homepage pulls it up. Now unfortunately there’s tons of Kardashian articles – nothing against them, nothing against them ‑but it’s just like literally sometimes it’s like 15 articles of Kardashian or Kanye West or generally related, but it’s helpful for me to stay abreast of what – if it’s hard for you sometimes when you’re relating to people, just kind of jump on the Yahoo.com.See what articles are most popular and then you can literally just have a great conversation with someone about, “Did you hear about Steph Curry? He had 17 points in overtime after he sprained his MCL.” It gives you conversation with people, so for me, that’s actually one of my – it’s very easy to access. It’s very popular, but it keeps me connected to what’s on the pulse of American thought.

Pete Mockaitis
It’s handy. How about a favorite habit? Any personal practice of yours that really makes a world of difference?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, you know it’ a personal thing. Everybody has got to find their own thing, but I personally found that in the morning before I check social media, before I do any of that stuff, I personally pray.

Pete Mockaitis
Amen.

Arel Moodie
Find out whatever your connection thing is and you know I find that whatever it is, if you believe in God, which I do, and you believe in what works for you, I believe connect with your source before you connect with people. If you don’t believe, that’s totally cool. Take some time to meditate or connect with yourself, but I really find that if you do that before you check your social media, your day starts with the right intention and it’s a beautiful practice that I do daily and I highly encourage others to do the same.

Pete Mockaitis
That’s so good. How about a favorite little kind of nugget of truth or something when you share it from out of the stage or Twitter or in a book, it gets Kindle highlighted, it gets re-tweeted, it gets people taking notes and nodding heads. What are some of the couple of your quotable gems?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, you know one of the big things that we say is the only thing I say in my presentations that I probably get the most retweets is the idea that in order to be successful, you have to be willing to do the things that most people won’t, so you can have the things that most people don’t.The easiest way to create a successful life is to look at what the masses are doing and do the opposite. I mean we’ve learned this from Warren Buffet and his investing strategy. We’ve learned it in so many different ways that when everyone is zigging, you zag. When you show up to a room, everyone wants to sit in the back of the room, you sit in the front of the room. Nobody wants to say hello to the person next to them, you say hello the person next to you, if you start doing what most people won’t, you’ll start experiencing a life that most people don’t.

Pete Mockaitis
Beautiful, thank you. I feel that sometimes with just this podcast, it’s like, “Wow! This is a lot of stuff!” By golly, sure enough that level of excellence stuff just creates recognition, and sharing and people delighting in it and telling everybody so it’s like that’s the thing, that’s the thing. Put it in. I love it. How about a favorite way to find you? Is there ideally a website or Twitter or where should people go when they want to learn more about you?

Arel Moodie
Yeah, so the really cool thing about my mom naming me a really weird name, which is Arel, so I’m literally the only Arel Moodie in the entire world, so if you type my name in Google, I’m the only one that shows up on search results. If you type my name into Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, I’m the only Arel Moodie that shows up, so any social media site you’re on, I’m on it, too. I’m very active. I love it. I love connecting with people.

I highly encourage people to check out artoflikability.com. We have great website there. We put up blog posts. We put podcast. Please download, subscribe to this. If you haven’t subscribed to Pete’s podcast yet, please click the subscribe button like people don’t get how powerful it is to get this fresh content sent to them, so click this subscribe button to Pete. Click the subscribe button to the Art of Likability podcast.

We’re going to be launching something cool for speakers. We already did our beta group and we have some amazing successful folks who wanted to actually become professional speakers. If you go to truespeakingsuccess.com, and for those of you who hope to be awesome at your job so that you can one day leave and become a professional speaker or do on the side, that’s something that I’m really excited about and I’m putting together, so definitely check it out, too.

Pete Mockaitis
Fantastic! Well, Arel, it’s been a ton of fun. Thanks so much for making the time and good luck with the Ellen views as they materialize and everything else that you’re doing here.

Arel Moodie
Pete, you keep making people awesome at their job, my friend. Thank you for having me.

Pete Mockaitis
Thank you.

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