How do you make people like you, so they want to work with you again?
In our industry, it's especially tricky. That's because people always want something and that underlies it all.
If people like you, you are going to work a whole lot more.
But is there some kind of formula, some way that you can train yourself to think? Is there a way to be yourself and also connect on a real level with people?
That's what we all want…. to be ourselves and have people love us.
But in the film industry, it seems like everyone is so focused on what they have going on… it's hard to get that moment to connect for real.
So, in this post, I want to give you some ideas… that you can try on, and see if your interactions change.
First. Consider this… Everyone is trying to survive.
Yes, it's true.
Say you want to get in with a big Producer. That big Producer has been working with a big Director for some time. Their survival is tied into that person.
And sometimes, that Producer may resent or even dislike that individual. You wouldn't know it, they would never show it, but people are dealing with all sorts of stuff all the time…
So, getting to know you, is not really on their radar.
They are more concerned with keeping the ball rolling, keeping people happy that are their bread and butter, and getting the job done.
If you get… really get… that the Producer you want to connect with, is just trying to survive themselves, then you can shift your perspective and your thoughts from "How can I get them to like me… to how can I be of service to this person?"
We need to get out of the train of thoughts that circle in our heads all day long… "How can I get this… that…"
and shift it to, "How can I help out that person?"
Now, if you're on set with this person, that is much easier to figure out. Opportunities will come up all the time as you work together.
You see them coming and open the door. You get them an extra chair when you see them bringing a new person on set. You send them an email when their favorite brand goes on sale at zappos. Hey, I do all these things. That's how you make a personal relationship and the thing is, it becomes easy when you're doing what you do…. to be of service… not to get something.
You can also "be of service" to someone indirectly.
Take care of everybody around them. The 1st AD for example. He or she is on their feet all day. They don't have time to even go to the bathroom.
Yes, they can ask their team of PAs to get them a cup of tea from craftie.
But, you can be thoughtful and make them one, and bring it to them.
I did this yesterday. I made a Zen green tea for myself. I walk on set and just take in what's going on.
I see the 1st AD, doing his job, standing next to the Director, his mind churning on the next thing.
And I asked him if he wanted a tea, "Here's a hot tea, ZEN tea."
He said jokingly, "Do I look like I need some ZEN?"
I said, "I made it for myself, but then I saw you and just wanted to give you something."
He loved it.
Be honest. Be present. Your words will flow when you're not thinking of what to say… or trying to make anyone like you.
Just be kind.
You can't go wrong there.
Now, how does this build a relationship with the Producer?
This is the amazing part.
People get a cheery feeling when they see you. You are "good people".
The Producer will relax around you and you'll get to know that person and many more important people, by being kind to everyone around you.
I worked with a new Producer a few weeks ago.
You could tell he was a nice guy. It was a 4 day job… and I thought over the 4 days, I'd get to know him.
But, I wasn't trying. I was focused on being of service, doing my job, and making people feel good on set.
One day he wasn't there.
I asked the Production Manager where he was….
"His wife had a baby!"
Oooh cool. I had no idea.
He came 2 days later to set. He told a group of people that he had a girl and her name was LuLu.
I thought, "How sweet!" and loved the name. I wrote it in my little book, under P for Production and his name.
Then, yesterday, I worked with him again.
I asked him, "How is Lulu doing? She's now 2 months old?" He breaks into a huge smile and shows me pictures on his iphone. She's adorable of course.
Cut to, a few conversations with him where set stuff is discussed. During these conversations, I am not thinking about making him like me, I am thinking of doing a great job for him…. as I am focused on being of service.
I am very present during these conversations. I am not in my head.
I am listening to every word. I respond without emotion, totally present.
Cut to, the end of the day. We sing Happy Birthday to the Director. The Producer has the message written on the cake, "Happy Birthday Dickhead" and crosses off Dickhead and puts the Director's name. Male humor.
Now it's time to say goodbye and thanks.
Now in the past, I would think of what I was going to say before I'd go up to them to say thanks.
I remind myself why I like this person. In his instance, he's a nice family man. And a good dresser.
And then, I go up and say "Thanks! Great shoot!" with some love in my heart towards this person.
He said, "Thank YOU. We may have another one in a few weeks, so see you then!"
I say, "Great! Goodnight." Smile as I look him in the eyes….
So few words are even necessary to make a connection.
This truly seperates those who do a good job, but don't get remembered… from those who people just have a good feeling about.
Don't try to make people like you. Don't think of what you're going to say before you say it.
Just be of service to them. Be present with people. And appreciate who they are and the loving feeling will come out of you.
To juicy and fun relationships,