Achieving Likability: Crow’s Feet and the Perfect Handshake

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“Listen to this,” I say to him—that shy son of mine who avoids interacting with people at all cost. “This book I’m reading tells you how to get people to like you. It’s called Enchantment by Guy Kawasaki…it’s about how to change the world.”

I start to read to him from the book. He doesn’t look up from his computer.

“Let’s start with the first impression that you make. Four factors create a good one: your smile, your dress, your handshake, and your vocabulary…First, smile at people…While smiling sends a very clear message about your state of mind, not smiling creates an opening for many interpretations…

A fake smile uses only the zygomatic major muscle—the one that runs from your jaw to the corner of your mouth. It’s easy to control this muscle, so it leads to fake…smiles”…

A great smile uses the orbicularis oculi muscle, too. This muscle surrounds your eyes, and it makes you squint and produces crow’s feet. A real smile is so special that it has its own name: the Duchenne smile, in honor of Guillaume Duchenne, a French neurologist.”

I look up from the book to see if there is even just a tiny spark of interest.

“What do you think?”



“Do you know how to make people not like you? Read them a book about trying to get people to like you. That’s how.”

“You know what else Guy Kawasaki, says? He says, jerks seldom enchant people.”

Maybe my nostrils flare a little bit. Perhaps my eyes bulge some. But I can’t seem to stop myself. It's a mother's prerogative to desire sparkly social skills for her children. Right?

“Don’t you want to change the world?”

He looks up from the computer for the first time.

“Not right now.”

At our twitter party last week, Guy Kawasaki said, “Enchantment is like fitness. Everyone can be more (or less). It’s a process, not an event.”

Tell that to a fourteen-year-old. You can’t blame a mom for trying. Maybe my son has not entered in to the process of becoming an enchanter yet, but there are plenty of movers and shakers out there who do want to change the world. Guy Kawasaki says that his book is for people who see life for what it can be rather than what it can’t.

If the first step in changing the world is achieving likability, there is a lot more involved than crow’s feet, dressing just-so, that perfect handshake, and using the right words. These factors cover the fundamentals of likability, but there are other ingredients. Guy refers to these under the category of “attitude”.

1. Accept others

2. Close proximity

3. Don’t impose your values

4. Pursue and project your passions

5. Find shared passions

6. Create win-win situations

7. Dysphemistic swearing (you might want to look that one up).

8. Adopt a yes attitude.

Each of these is discussed in depth in the book and with great insight. My takeaway? A mom should not expect her fourteen–year-old son to hold the same value on likability that she does. She must simply make crow’s feet and move on.

How about you? Share with us in the comments or link up below to your thoughts at your blog.

This is the first week of our book club discussion on Guy Kawasaki’s Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hears, Minds, and Actions. Join us next week for a discussion on chapters three and four: How to Achieve Trustworthiness and How to Prepare. See you there!

Photo by Terri Heisele, sourced through stock.xchng. Post by Laura Boggess.