However, it certainly doesn't hurt to employ additional tactics that can enhance the chances of succeeding.
Here are seven particularly clever and effective psychological tactics that can increase your likelihood of meeting your most important goals.
When you are trying to make new friends or become more comfortable in a new work environment, a few common obstacles might make life difficult. Firstly, when you are dealing with an established group it can be hard to know when to introduce yourself or join a conversation.
The next time you are wondering whether you are welcome, look at the feet of the group members.
Specifically, it's best to make a polite exit if people only turn their bodies when you approach them.
This movement signals that they are discussing something private or sensitive and don't want any interruptions.
In contrast, people who turn their feet, as well as their bodies, are signaling that you should feel free to join their conversation. Meanwhile, if you want to get to know someone who seems shy, try maintaining eye contact during periods of silence.
By holding the person's gaze, you tell them that you want them to say more. But you do so in a way that is much less intimidating than just asking question after question.
You can also use this particular trick if someone is not giving you the information you need. It will typically exert a powerful influence over how much they are willing to say.
Fascinating research on conflict and disagreement suggests that just changing your position in the room can help to diffuse a heated conversation. If you feel an uncomfortable atmosphere building between you and someone else and you know it is in your best interests to avoid an argument, find an excuse to move to a seat next to the person.
For reasons that are as yet unclear, sitting next to someone seems to diffuse tension in social situations.
If you wake up in the morning feeling tired, grumpy or melancholy, you may find it difficult to get into a positive frame of mind. To avoid ruining your whole day by waking up in a bad mood, try making a habit of reacting positively each time your alarm goes off.
Some people try shouting a positive affirmation (such as “Today is going to be a great day!”) while others settle for pumping a fist in the air and cheering. You can try a range of different morning rituals and see which leaves you feeling excited for the day ahead.
In addition, if you find your positive mood slipping in the middle of the day and you are finding it impossible to be productive, consider transforming your environments.
Studies show that clean, neat environments lead to happier employees who work harder and offer better results. Clearing your desk and tidying away messy papers can be surprisingly good at cultivating a positive attitude and resetting your ability to focus.
If you want to find a quick way to make other's feel good then you could practice active listening skills. Most importantly, you can paraphrase what someone says, reflecting the content of their statements in a way that they will find affirming.
For example, if you are looking to make a friend feel better after a difficult breakup and this individual is talking about why she thinks she will benefit from the split, rephrase what she said and thereby communicate that you endorse her perspective.
This type of approach is much more effective than just telling someone you think they are right, and it proves that you listen carefully.
Even the most confident individuals tend to feel nauseated and anxious at the thought of attending a job interview. To overcome your inner critic and calm your nerves, make a habit of having chewing gum handy before your interview.
Although this tip sounds silly at first, it actually fools your brain into believing that you are in a safe environment (leading to a reduction in stress hormones). Your body knows to interpret a willingness to eat as a sign that you are not in danger, so you should gradually feel your heartbeat slow and those sweaty palms will begin to dry.
Once you are actually in your interview, it is time to pull out the psychological tricks that help to elicit a positive response from others. One tactic to remember is simply to nod whenever you say something that you want the interviewer to believe.
Since people often mirror the body language of their companions, members of the interview panel will begin to nod as well, and this nodding will be interpreted by their brains as a sign that they sincerely agree with you.
When you need to understand which group members are close, observe the group when they are amused by something. When a joke is told, people naturally look towards the person that they have the greatest bond. Getting this information can help you see potential romantic attractions as well as friendships.
If you need help completing a task at work or home, don't ask someone to do that task straight away. Although it might sound counterintuitive, people are actually more likely to consent to do a major task if they have first been asked to complete an easier job.
For example, you might ask a work colleague if they could find you some particular stationery items. Then move on to ask them for a tougher favor once the easy job has been completed.