Thoughtscape: Thoughts and Tips from Mike Clayton


Issue 4

  Being Likeable
    News and views


  Dear %1
In his excellent "Influence: Science and Practice", Robert Cialdini identified liking as one of his six powerful weapons of influence.  I refer to it as the "I'm-gorgeous-fly-me" principle, but then he's a full professor and I'm only a PhD!  Anyway, let's look at it in more detail.

The simple fact is that we prefer to say yes to people we like.  This is why rapport works to build influence; it provides a way to build liking. 

You can use liking to influence me by linking your ideas to people or other ideas that I already like, so I will be persuaded by association.  This is why George Clooney advertises coffee.

But if you can't get George to promote your idea, you may have to do it yourself.  So how can you make yourself more likeable?

1. Similarity
People like people who are like themselves.  This means that it pays to find points of connection.  If you are at a business meeting, dress in the prevailing style of the people you want to influence.  Look for something you have in common with them.  The underlying psychology is simple: "you are like me, so you must be okay."

2. Familiarity
Repeated exposure leads to liking.  Making your idea available long before you need agreement will make it easier to say yes - the shock of the new is diminished.  And getting to know people for a period will make them like you more.  This is why going to a different networking event every month fails, and going to the same one works. 

3. Compliments
Call us shallow, but we all like compliments.  As long, that is, as they are genuine.  Find real reasons to compliment people and they will start to like you all the more.  Maybe it's because they like your taste, or perhaps it is just because you took the trouble to notice!

4. Smiling
A smiles will make you look more confident and therefore increase your charisma.  It also says that you are relaxed and therefore mean me no harm.  People who smile are usually well liked and, by the way, usually live longer, happier lives.

For more information
To learn about all of the weapons - and tools - of influence, Brilliant Influence, published by Prentice Hall, and the Brilliant Influence Blog.


Get More Time by Doing Less

Two things struck me the other day as I put my To Do list aside, having created my To Day list:

The first was that one of the things that Id put on my To Do list some time ago was a repetitive task that Id played with from time to time but never really committed to.  Read more on the Brilliant Time Management Blog...


Sophia's Guide to Persuasion

Sophia (σοφία): goddess of wisdom, mistress of influence.  Sophia indicates a simple seven step process for persuasion...

"You got me - good and proper. Was reading it and thinking... 'yeah right, as if this would work in front of a major airline buyer'
... then I scrolled down."
   said one reader

Take a look at my 1 April Influencing blog.



It's getting to be a habit
After last month's announcement of the name change to Risk Happens!, it's happened again. 

This time it's the book that was to be called Brilliant Stress Control and is now to be called Brilliant Stress Management.  But the story is less exciting.

My publisher and I decided that, although the book is about managing your stress by taking control, Brilliant Stress Management is a better name.  Anyway, while we wait for the new artwork to hit the online booksellers, the manuscript is on track for September publication.

The ISBN hasn't changed, so if you've pre-ordered it under the old name, don't stress about it.  It's OK.

When I got back from holiday, I started work on Brilliant Project Leader, and have already written Chapter 1.


My first Web TV Show
On Monday I recorded my first Web TV show, with Ross Dean and Claudia Carter, on Photo Night Live.  The topic, "So Much to Do but so Little Time - how to make time to start a business while working hard at your current job" - may well appeal to a wider audience. 

Find out more, on my blog.  The show goes out on 15 April at 7pm and will be on the Photo Night Live website (Show 11) from then.


Handling Resistance
My presentation at the CIPD conference and Exhibition on "How to Understand Resistance and Handle It Effectively" went better than I hoped.  I had feared that with doors opening at 9:30, a 10am start would mean few people.  It turned out that all 60+ seats were filled by 10am and there were easily as many people standing to listen.  Thank you to everyone who was there!

The talk focused on Resistance to Change.  There is a 4 minute trailer video about handling sales objections and you can get your copy of the Handling Resistance Pocketbook from Amazon.  I'll be blogging more about the content soon.


Tour Dates
I have agreed another 8 tour dates for 2011, taking the total to 32.  These are for four different seminars:

  • Practical Project Management

  • Risk Happens!

  • Brilliant Time Management

  • The Three-hour MBA

You can see all of the dates on my blog and book by calling 01227 252100.


My focus this year ...
... is on writing, responding to press enquiries, and new speaking engagements.  If you know a conference organiser who is looking for an engaging speaker with great testimonials, please do send them to my website:  If you need a speaker now, just contact me using the links below, or the contact form on my website.  You can download my speaker pack here.

Best regards


I recognise you get a lot of email and I don't want to add unwanted inbox clutter.  I intend to give useful tips and thoughts, but if you don't wish to get any more, I will understand, so just click the "no more emails" link and they'll stop.

Many thanks

    Please contact me ...
... Tel: 08456 441349
... on Twitter @mikeclayton01
no more emails 
Mike Clayton, 2011