Today, I spoke to Ori Brafman, who is just releasing his latest book called Click: The Magic of Instant Connections. Previously, I had interviewed Ori about his New York Times bestseller SWAY. In this interview, he talks about connecting with other people, what makes people click with others, forcing a connection, and more.
Yes, you know it on a visceral level. You feel like you’ve known this person forever, like you don’t have to explain yourself or go through the motions. You can be completely yourself around that person. There is mutual interest and comfort.
What makes certain people click and not others?
Although there is no recipe to get someone to click with you, there are certain factors, or what I call “accelerators” that facilitate clicking. These are the willingness to be open and vulnerable by self-disclosing emotions and personal stories; being physically close to the other person (e.g. having your desk right next to theirs, being next door neighbors); sharing similarities (anything from favorite music to political views); being fully present and engaged with the other person; and being part of a framed community.
Is it even possible to force yourself to click with someone else? Does it have to happen naturally?
Trying to force a connection when the spark is not really there is akin to the desperate guy in the bar who’s throwing one-liners at all the women, hoping one will stick. On the other hand, just letting nature take its course can mean being too passive. I think that a lot of times clicking is something that just happens serendipitously and we’re not even sure what we did or how it took place. That’s great when it happens on its own by we can also take some steps toward increasing the likelihood that we’ll click with someone. Whether it’s focusing more on similarities, opening up, or literally moving ourselves closer to that person, these are some ways we can plant the seeds for a closer connection.
Can you share one of the most fascinating pieces of research uncovered in your book that might surprise us?
The power of similarity. Even little, seemingly insignificant similarities can make a big difference. When an undercover researcher wearing a name tag asked people to donate to a worthy cause, individuals donated an average of $1.00. But when the name tag was shifted so that the name tag reflected the donor’s own first name (e.g. If the person’s name is “Lisa” then the researcher wore a name tag “Lisa”) the contributions doubled in value.
Can you click with someone and then not click with them at another point down the road?
Definitely. We can all remember times in our lives when we hit it off with someone and then, for whatever reason, either we lost touch or we got into an argument and things took a sour turn. Clicking doesn’t guarantee a long-term relationship, but clicking relationships are different from their “plain friend” counterparts. Studies have shown that when we click with someone romantically we’re more passionate and when that connection happens in the workplace we’re more productive.
Ori Brafman is the New York Times bestselling author of SWAY, the coauthor of The Starfish and the Spider, and his latest book is called Click: The Magic of Instant Connections. He is a world renowned organizational expert who regularly speaks before Fortune 500, governmental, and military audiences. Ori Brafman has appeared in the New York Times, ABC News, BBC, National Public Radio, Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CSPAN, AP Video, and National-Cable-Radio among others. He has presented before audiences at Microsoft, Amazon, Televisa, Stanford Business School, Harvard Business School, and many others. He writes for the New York Times international edition and Fortune magazine.