Are you wired to be a people person—or not?
Researchers at Cambridge University examined 41 male volunteers to explore the connection between brain tissue and emotional warmth. The men submitted brain scans using Magnetic Resonance Imaging and completed a questionnaire that measured their sociability. The survey asked the men to rate themselves against statements such as, “I make a warm personal connection with most people” and “I like to please others as much as I can.”
Researchers found—and published in a recent European Journal of Neuroscience—a correlation between brain structure and personality. Men with higher concentrations of gray matter in certain areas of their brains were more likely to be sentimental or warm. The center of the brain and the outer strip above the eyes are also linked to sweet tastes and sexual stimuli. Whether brain structure determines people's personalities or personalities shape the brain over time is yet to be established.
The message in all this: Don't worry if you struggle to connect with clients. Maybe you're not programmed to make small talk. But with a little practice, you'll still be able to build strong bonds. Here's a simple tip to get you started: Smile.