08/15/2014 05:41 EDT | Updated 10/15/2014 05:59 EDT

How to Use Your Personality to 'Win' Every Conversation

The general advice I would give to just about anyone is that you should never hide your personality from others and instead use it as a means of obtaining whatever it is you want. This principle should be applied to everything you do in life, but I believe it's even more important when you're conversing with another person.

In fact, you can use your personality to "win" just about any given conversation. Job interviews, haggling and even simple arguments at work are all conversations that have potential to take your life a few steps forward - or nowhere at all, if you don't take advantage of them.

So, how do you fuse your personality into every conversation? Here are a few tips that can help you get started.

Figure Out Your Personality Type

Generally speaking, the world is divided into two types of individuals - strategic thinkers and workers. Strategic thinkers are people who can see the "big picture" - they are results-driven, independent and dominant. They also enjoy assuming leadership roles and taking bigger risks. The workers, on the other hand, prefer to stick to the areas of expertise they are familiar with, craving both security and stability. They also oppose taking risks and would rather be told what to do instead of leading. However, they do have excellent attention to details and ability to excel in the area they focus on.

Of course, there is no single person who is strictly a worker or a strategic thinker. Most people fall somewhere in-between those two extremes. That being said, you can take a look at the individuals around you and more or less see which ones lean more toward the strategic-thinker side of the spectrum and which ones seem more like workers.

Identify which camp you belong to and you will know how to channel your personality to gain best results from any conversation. If you are a worker, then you can use your attention to details to raise certain points during a conversation that the other person might have missed. Or, if you are a strategic thinker, you can rely on your dominance to drive your point home.

Knowing your personality type can also help you identify certain weaknesses that you may have when it comes to conversations, such as lack of confidence, which is usually experienced by workers, or lack of patience when it comes to finer details - a flaw that plagues strategic thinkers. You can then look for ways to remove those weaknesses and become even more proficient.

Don't Be Too Formal

One of the mistakes many people make during important conversations is trying to be too formal. Nothing hides your personality as well as the veil of "professionalism," which basically means saying only the things you are expected to say in a very formal way. While you should definitely answer questions and say what you need to say, mix in a few things that make you personable. Crack a joke or make an observation that only you can make. At the end of the day, it is your personal quirks that will make people like you and eventually even agree with you. If you act like a robot, you are bound to come off as bland and forgettable.

Use Your Interests to Connect With Other People

No matter who you are talking to, always try your best to communicate your interests and likes to that person. Sharing this kind of information with others is one of the most important aspects of communication - because it makes us stand out. For instance, when we try to turn strangers into friends, we always display the aspects of ourselves that make us relatable in some fashion - and you probably do too. However, many people seem to do so only when their surroundings are more relaxed, such a bar or a friend's home, which is a mistake. It may be scary at first, but try your best to be relatable in all your conversations.

Figure out what the other person likes by asking them a few casual questions and then reciprocate. They are bound to like some of the same things you do, no matter who they are. Just imagine finding out that your potential boss likes golfing as much as you do during a job interview. It's a great way of making an awesome first impression - and may just be the ticket to securing that job.

However, I would suggest underplaying your dislikes, or present them in a more positive light - especially if it's clear that the other person likes the things you don't.

Adjust the Tone of Your Voice

Another important aspect of channelling your personality through a conversation is the tone of your voice. You can't really change your voice -- that much is known - but you can change the way you use it. For instance, if you tend to sound sarcastic in casual conversations, then don't hide that -- because it's part of your identity and could just be the endearing quality the person on the other end enjoys.

That being said, if you are in a grumpy or sad mood, then you should find a way to fix that before the conversation starts, because your voice can easily give that away. This in turn could spoil the other person's impression of you. And if you're thinking of hiding this, don't -- because doing so can make you sound robotic or even dishonest.

Final Word

The general consensus among many people is that revealing their true personality can make them seem unlikable or incompetent. However, if you just try to be a robot, then you are guaranteed to achieve very little. As such, it makes more sense to take the risk of exposing your personality instead of hiding behind a mask. Just make sure you showcase the best parts of you and you should do just fine!


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