Adopt a proven, counter-intuitive way to seem likable to others. One of the biggest misconceptions about connecting is seeking, first, to be liked. In fact, the counter-intuitive way to get someone to like you is in knowing this core truth: If they like the way they feel when around you, they will like you. They will project onto you the character traits they most like in others, even if you have not yet exhibited them.

Conversely, if they do not like the way they act when around you, they will instinctively blame you for it, regardless of the true reason. They will project onto you some of the qualities they most dislike in others. What's worse, they will go out of their way to prove they are right, even in ways that damage their reputation as well as yours."

People are far more revealing by the questions they ask than the answer they give. To get closer to understanding what is really on someone's mind, ask follow-up questions. This also demonstrates an interest in understanding that person.

3. YOU, ME, US
Try this three-step triangle approach to cultivating stronger connections and reaching an agreement with others: You, Me, Us. First refer to their interest, then yours, and then cite how your interests coincide. It also enables you to attract diverse allies so that you can collectively make smarter decisions sooner together. To further motivate you to attract diverse allies, recognize that when three unexpected allies take a united stand on an issue or opportunity they have priceless credibility and visibility.

We are motivated to live up to and share stories anchored in redemptive themes: Rather than making yourself the victim or the hero in the stories you tell, describe a daunting time of loss, crisis, or criticism or where you made a mistake or acted badly, yet you were eventually able to learn from it. Such stories show vulnerability and a desire to grow and live fully rather than in fear. Then that facet of you can be the place where others can positively and productively connect with you, hard-earned strengths firmly attached. You can support each other in reinforcing redemptive characterizations and action.

Go slow to go fast in growing a stronger bond with others: When you see someone's interest rise in the conversation, you have a glimpse of the hook that can best connect you. Ask follow-up questions, directly related to what that person just said. If you do just this much, recent research shows you are among the five percent of Americans in conversation. In so doing, you accomplish two things. You've increased their openness and warmth toward you because you've demonstrated you care. And you've had a closer look at the hook that most matters to them in the conversation. Now you can speak to their hottest interest, in a way that can serve you both."

Get specific sooner and reap many rewards. The specific detail or example proves the general conclusion, not the reverse. The more specific you are about anything the more clear you become, for yourself, and in telling others. Thus you reduce the chance of others misunderstanding you. And you become more compelling, credible, and memorable.

Speak to their positive intent, especially when they appear to have none, and you are more likely to bring out their better side. Remind yourself that healthy relationships are based, not on a quid pro quo yet an ebb and flow of mutual interest over time.

Author's Bio: 

Kare Anderson’s TED talk on The Web of Humanity: Be an Opportunity Maker has attracted over 2.5 million views. Her blog Moving From Me to We. She is an Emmy-winning former NBC and Wall Street Journal journalist, now a speaker on connective behavior and quotability. Her TEDx talk on Redefine Your Life Around a Mutuality Mindset is now a standard session for employees and invited clients at 14 national and global corporations. Her ideas have been cited in 16 books. Her clients are as diverse as Salesforce, Novartis, and The Skoll Foundation. She was a founding board member of Annie’s Homegrown and co-founder of nine women’s political PACs. For Obama's first presidential campaign she created over 208 issues formation teams. She was Pacific Telesis' first Cable TV and Wideband Division Director and a founding board member of Annie's Homegrown. Kare is the author of How We Can Be Greater Together, Opportunity Makers, Mutuality Matters, Moving From Me to We, Beauty Inside Out, Walk Your Talk, Getting What You Want, and Resolving Conflict Sooner. She serves on the boards of The Business Innovation Factory, TEDxMarin, and World Affairs Council Marin.