I know a man who started out as a janitor at a factory and retired making $300,000 per year as a plant manager. From his example, I want to discuss how to find favor with people and develop rapport.
My friend did not have a great education. In fact, he could hardly read. The documents they brought him to look over, he would skim through, get the gist of it, and have his secretary deal with it. So how did he earn $150 per hour, all expenses paid? Because he learned the art of finding favor with people.
Do you know how to develop rapport with others?
Look at your circle of friends. These people favor you. They trust you, and for the most part, you trust them. They are interested in what you have to say, and you enjoy hearing from them. What if you lived your life trying to develop every acquaintance into a favorable friendship?
You make friends by caring about others. Simple things develop closeness, like asking about the family, encouraging someone when they are down, and laughing together through the hard times.
Think of how much there is to gain—and to give—when you develop rapport and find favor with people. Your boss might be just a figurehead in your mind. You nod, shuffle, and look at the floor when you are around him. But then at the water cooler, you look you buddy in the eye and tell him about a funny email you got the other day. What if you started treating your boss with as much warmth?
I know a man who is a new guy on his job. He has found favor with his boss in a short amount of time. He has not even worked for the man a year, and already he has gotten paid leave for two funerals and received a personal loan for $1000 from his boss. He got there because of his never die positive attitude. He shows up on time and stays late. He goes out of his way to get the job done. He brings a smile to the faces of those in the office, and dispels tensions out in the field. His never-met-a-stranger attitude wins him respect and favor with clients and employers alike.
How to find favor with people
Stop thinking about yourself. When you give—not just give something, but give yourself—you will find people being much more generous with you. The “sorry that is not in my job description” attitude will demote you.
Think about the people who do not find your favor. They are probably people who treat folks rudely, take advantage of others, and put self first. It is hard to like people who like themselves too much.
Now, think about the people who do not like you. What are they seeing in you that puts a bad taste in their mouths? Are you an obnoxious neighbor? Are you a control freak? Do you bully your way into things? Do you whine and complain often?
What about your kids, siblings, parents, and other family members? How do they see you?
Chasing circles around yourself
This big guy always brightened our day when he showed up where I worked years ago. He always made us laugh and was just a happy kind of guy. I was talking to one of his employees once and said, “Hey, it must be a riot working for that man.” This underling shook his head and indicated to me that the guy was an absolute jerk to work for.
You have circles of influence. Four main ones include:
- Church family
I know a guy who is just a great guy to talk to. He has great stories and is just a natural at hanging out at a barbeque. But his kids hate him. The banks do not want to give him loans and hesitate to cash his checks. The carpet layer refuses to work for him again. The list goes on and on. He may have it going well with his church family, but anyone who has to exchange money with him does not favor him.
Are you cool in certain social circles and a knothead in others? To find favor with humanity, broaden your scope. Google+ understood this characteristic about people when they designed their Facebook-like social network to include “Circles.” Now you can be nice with one group, businessy with another, and rude to the others, I guess. Rather than live a three-ring circus, however, why not be the same thing to everyone. Learn to love as Jesus loves: everybody.
What your paycheck says about you
Money is an indication of how much favor you find with people. I know the TV preachers say that money is the favor of God. However, God favors us with spiritual blessings; man favors us with money.
It’s like this, your boss hires you to do a job and you do it as told; so, he pays you as promised. Then, you learn to find favor with him, you sympathize when his child goes to the hospital, you remember his birthday, and so on. Suddenly, he begins to notice you in the quarterly reviews as more than a statistic. Your pay level increases.
For the salesman, finding favor with more people means a direct increase in commissions. Of course a person who makes his money by trading stocks may not have to find favor with anyone and be filthy rich. So, the money standard does not always hold true. For the child of God, however, Jesus said that the children of the world are wiser than the children of light because they know how to find favor:
Jesus said to his disciples, “There was once a rich man who had a servant who managed his property. The rich man was told that the manager was wasting his master’s money, so he called him in and said,
“’What is this I hear about you? Turn in a complete account of your handling of my property, because you cannot be my manager any longer.’
“The servant said to himself, ‘My master is going to dismiss me from my job. What shall I do? I am not strong enough to dig ditches, and I am ashamed to beg. Now I know what I will do! Then when my job is gone, I shall have friends who will welcome me in their homes.’
“So he called in all the people who were in debt to his master. He asked the first one, ‘How much do you owe my master?’
“’One hundred barrels of olive oil,’ he answered.
“’Here is your account,’ the manager told him; ‘sit down and write fifty.’
“Then he asked another one, ‘And you—how much do you owe?’
“’A thousand bushels of wheat,’ he answered.
“’Here is your account,’ the manager told him; ‘write eight hundred.’
“As a result the master of this dishonest manager praised him for doing such a shrewd thing; because the people of this world are much more shrewd in handling their affairs than the people who belong to the light.” (Luke 16:1-8)
This man knew what to do to take care of himself in this world. Being out of favor with his boss, he found favor with others by generosity. Of course, this man was dishonest with is master’s money, but Jesus pointed out that the man at least saw the value of finding favor with people.
While outsiders complain about the good-ol’-boy system of business, it is simply the natural selection of those who find favor. Don’t whine if you are on the outside of a group. If you feel the need to be included, follow God’s plan on how to build rapport and find favor with people. Learn four biblical principles on how you can find favor with others.