Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions


An interview with best-selling author Guy Kawasaki on his new book Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions.

Guy’s book is full of tips and tricks for how to convince people to join your cause, whether it’s a rock band or a software startup. Plus, any book where Robert Cialdini is quoted on the jacket as saying “Kawasaki provides insights so valuable we wish we’d had them first” is a must read in my opinion.

You write about four things that enchanting people do on a first impression. What are they?

The core of enchantment is that you have to be likable, trustworthy, and have a great product or service. Likeability starts from your physical appearance, that you have a smile and it called Duchenne smile that incorporates both your eyes and your mouth.

The second part of likeability in this initial impression is that your dress…you’re not dressed above the crowd, you’re not dressed below the crowd. You should dress for a tie – no pun intended – and then the next thing is your physical contact of a handshake, and I provide a mathematical formula for the perfect handshake, out of the University of Manchester.

Now, likeability in and of itself is not enough because many of us like celebrities and movie stars, right, but we don’t trust them. You don’t take, necessarily, life advice from Tom Cruise. So now you need to get trustworthiness, and there are some key points to trustworthiness; and I think the first thing is that if you want to be trusted you first have to trust.

It’ss not a chicken or egg thing, the onus is upon you to trust first, and a great example of that is Zappos—where Zappos basically says ‘we trust you.’ So if you don’t like the shoe we will even pay shipping it back to us, so there’s truly no risk. And if Zappos had had a different attitude of—‘well, we are a startup right now, if you don’t like the shoe, you’re going to have to send it back at your expense,’ it would not be the billion dollar success that it is.

People that you trust default to a yes or positive attitude. They’re looking for ways to help you as opposed to ways that you can help them. So the next time you go to a party, and you meet new people, you should always be thinking: how can I help this person, how can I help this person—as opposed to how can this person help me.

Still curious? Robert Cialdini is the author the most famous book on persuasion: Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion and he wishes he’d discovered the insights in Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions first!.