Sunday, December 31, 2006

Step Three: Admiration

"Oh, Honey, You Did an Absolutely Superb Job Slicing These Mushrooms" Step three, in early conversation, is to convince your Quarry you admire him or her. Now is the time to add reinforcing statements to express approval. These little interjections are called kudos. Let's say your hypothetical conversation now turns to jobs. Quarry: "Yeah, I really got tired of that job, so I decided to quit." You: "Umm, you made a courageous move [admiration]." Quarry: "Yeah. Well, then I took some night courses to brush up on accounting." You: "That was wise [approval]." Quarry: "Well, I thought so." You: "Have you had the chance yet to use your new skills?" Quarry: "Sure did. It landed me a job with my present firm." You: "Wonderful, John! [using your Quarry's name] It must be a good feeling to know that you made the right choice [empathizer]." As the conversation progresses, keep weaving in kudos and empathizers. Remember, kudos are not full-blown compliments. They are simply little empathetic commendations such as: "I can see you really worked hard for that cause. That's great," "Sounds like you had a good handle on that situation. Congratulations," "You said that? Not many people would have had the guts," or ''You really did that? Gosh, that's impressive." Hunters, giving kudos may be harder for you than for women. Men, who are more competitive by nature, sometimes feel that giving compliments diminishes their own rank. On the contrary, the more popular and secure a person is, the more apt he is to give reinforcing statements. Praising others enhances your own rank. Additionally, women don't see compliments in terms of rank. For them, praise deepens intimacy. When you give a woman kudos, you will stand out from other Hunters. It's a rare man, indeed, who expresses admiration for the accomplishments of a woman he has just met. Huntresses, you can be downright profligate with your kudos. What may sound like blatant fawning to you will sound perfectly logical to your Quarry's ears. I have a half-brother, Larry, who recently married a charming older woman. A few weeks after their wedding, I invited them to dinner. Larry is a fine chef, and Regina and I decided we would be his sous chefs. The three of us scurried around the kitchen. Regina was peeling onions, Larry was slicing mushrooms, and I was putting some water on to boil. At one point, as I was leaning over the stove, I heard Regina purring to Larry behind me, "Oh, honey, you did an absolutely superb job slicing these mushrooms. Just look at how evenly and cleanly you cut every single one." I turned around to share a big smile with Regina at her joke, but she wasn't joking! Regina was earnestly admiring his tiny mushroom slices. Larry was the one who was smiling—actually beaming—with pride. Regina, it dawned on me at that moment, is a very smart woman. She knew Larry prided himself on his careful kitchen work. I'm sure Regina's unblushing use of kudos was one of the reasons my half-brother fell in love with her and will probably stay that way forever. TECHNIQUE #37: CONFER KUDOS As the intimacy progresses, add approval notes to your empathizers. Sprinkle your conversation with little phrases like "Good going," "Not bad," and "Hey, that was smart." Huntresses, don't be bashful. Men eat it up. Hunters, force yourself to give kudos. It's a new skill for you.

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