The secret of a bar charmer by Philip Duff

Salutare !

Citesc acum o carte noua si am dat peste urmatorul articol care mi s-a parut foarte interesant. Atat de interesant incat am obtinut permisiuea sa il republic aici, doar pentru voi. Textul este cel original si pentru a-i pastra integritatea nu il voi traduce. Cei care aveti dificultati, folositi Google Translate ! :)

" Personal charm is the last great taboo of modern bartending. We can all admit to not having read Tom Bullock, to not possessing a bottle of pine liqueur or an antique cobbler shaker, to never having made the pilgrimage to New York’s Milk & Honey. But who wants to admit to not being charming— or not as charming as they could be?
In our people-centred industry, it is like saying you enjoy trampling puppies in hob-nailed boots, only not as socially acceptable. I believe this stems from the belief that charm is some mystical ability that is not, and cannot, be learned, and that only greasy, slimy second-hand-car-dealers, sad lonely men who read Neil Strauss’ 2005 book The Game: Undercover in the Secret Society of Pick-up Artists and scary freaks like Tony Robbins and Derren Brown approach it in any way other than instinctively.

This, of course, is nonsense. You might be lucky to grow up in a household where establishing and maintaining rapport is automatic— large families that eat together at the same time at a single table tend to encourage these skills, hence so many truly charming hospitality professionals are Mediterranean types (Italians, French, Spanish, etc.) But it is totally learnable. It is no different to learning a language, or going to the gym, much more enjoyable and a million times more useful. Nothing happens in this world— nothing at all— without rapport. And rapport as a learnable skill is becoming mainstream; the highest-rated new TV show in America as we go to press is The Mentalist where the main character uses targeted rapport— charm— to solve his cases. Famously, Band Aid & Live Aid, the global charity song and concert that was held in 1985, raised £ 180 million. Three years later, during a lunch with then-French premier Mitterrand, Live Aid organizer Bob Geldof extracted a commitment to an extra 180 million in aid. Over lunch! Have things changed since?

Reporter: “You move in the highest circles [Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, the G8, world leaders]. Do you think that the important decisions that affect us all are taken behind closed doors?”            Bono: “It was quite shocking to discover how important personal chemistry was. Unexpected cooperations would occur because people realized they could laugh with each other. That made a deep impression.” —From an interview with Nieuwe Revu, Amsterdam, February 2009

I have made a study of the elements of charm in the last few years, and it does get a little scary at times. It is so powerful. Appearance, for instance, is a component of charm. Do you know what the strongest correlation is for becoming president of the USA? It isn’t particular policies, or voting records, or political affiliations, or which party or business success. It is height. The tallest guy tends to win. Seventeen presidents since 1896 have been taller than their opponents, while only eight have been shorter-— a 68 percent victory for the beanpoles. That percentage rose when TV became widespread in the late 1950s and appearance became even more important. The tall guys won 10 out of 14 elections from Eisenhower in ’56 up to and including Barack Obama in 2008. That’s a 71 percent success rate. Wow. It holds true in the world of business, too: 58 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are six feet tall or taller. But only 14 percent of American males are six feet tall or above. You don’t get the corner office just by being tall, but if it’s between you and a sub-six footer, start ordering the new carpet. For those of you— like me— closer to Mini-Me and Shrek than Shaquille O’Neal and George Clooney, there is hope: studies have proven that exogenous beauty (hair style, clothes, makeup) is just as important in being seen as beautiful as endogenous attributes such as height, hair length, physique and having symmetrical facial features.

Charm, rapport, persuasion, or (if you are of a paranoid turn of mind) manipulation is the fundament of management skills, and management is the most highly-paid job in the world. In the context of a bar, being able to get other people— colleagues, guests, even your owner or manager— to “buy in” to your ideas, means you can, unless your ideas are distilled horse crap, make everyone happy. A great experience for your guests, fun work and more tips for you and your colleagues and higher sales and profits for the manager/ owner.

In studying charm, I often feel as if I was wearing blinkers my whole life, and I hope I can help you remove yours. It will not be hard— I mean, an attractive, well-dressed, successful person like yourself should have no trouble with this. The Self-Serving Bias You, me, all of us, are subservient to what is called the self-serving bias. We see ourselves in a positive light and others in a less positive light. When we make a right decision it is because we are attractive, intelligent, successful people. When we make a wrong decision, it was the other guy’s fault, it was the wrong question, there’s a global financial crisis and by the way, the dog ate my homework. For a hilarious explanation of the self-serving bias, rent or download One Night At McCool’s. At one stage, using separate flashbacks, two different characters (played by Matt Dillon and Paul Reiser) are remembering a night at McCool’s bar. In each case, they remember themselves as being cooler, sharper, more decisive and in control, while the other is remembered as less proactive, drunker, and more of a loser. This, then is the self-serving bias. The self-serving bias flourishes because we lack the one thing that only another person can give us: hepatitis. Only joking! I mean perspective, of course. Nobody can see themselves as others see us.

We interact with the world through our senses, which our brains then filter and present to us as experiences. The process of filtering allows all our own prejudices, ignorance, errors in judgment and the self-serving bias full rein, so what appears to us as an “experience” may bear no more relation to the reality than a hamburger does to a Chateaubriand. The opposite is also true: we want to communicate X, but by the time our brains have filtered that desire and expressed it verbally, visually or through touch (aroma too, if what you wanted to communicate was “I just ate a curry”), it may emerge as Y. It doesn’t matter what you want to communicate, it only matters what you do communicate. Whenever we ask other people for “their honest opinion” we so very rarely get it. This is because we tend to ask people who are in some way invested in our lives: in the worlds of the Dragon’s Den investors, “family, friends and fools”. They do not want to hurt our feelings so they soften their words— in effect, they “project” their own self-serving bias. Their words are consequently as much use as a chocolate jockstrap. Do you have someone in your life who doesn’t give a damn about you one way or the other— that is, positively or negatively? That is the person to ask for an honest opinion. No-one else’s matters.

Once you have one honest opinion, go get some more. At a certain point, you will have a trustworthy image of yourself. Do not ignore this. If everyone says you are pleasant enough but very annoying when talking about your own area of expertise, you must accept this as gospel and not fall prey to the self-serving devil on your shoulder whispering “but if they only knew how cool Boker’s bitters really are they’d love them as much as I do!”. You must remember: the goal is to be charming, that is, to make people like you so that they will do what you want. This all sounds very Manchurian Candidate, but it isn’t. Because what you want is for people to have a good time with fine drinks and sparkling conversation, right? What, Then, Is Charm? I would say it is a collection of the following elements:
 • Appearing pleasant and attractive.
 • Relaxing the other person.
 • Building and maintaining rapport using body language, word choice, intonation, pacing and leading.
 • Using common sense and choice architecture to deliver guests a great experience.

I’m writing about this for all bars, and writing in quite general terms. Charm is in no way reserved for white-collar bartenders in up-market  cocktail lounges. The way in which you are charming doesn’t matter, it just has to be appropriate for the situation. One of the most charming bartenders I know is a large, scary-looking man named Zardoc, who is bartender/ bouncer at a rock ‘n’ roll bar in Amsterdam’s red-light district. In Hell’s Angels bars like his, it is (Zardoc tells me) seen as charming and complimentary to say “Nice tits!” to a young lady possessed of an impressive rack, and, indeed, her gentleman companion will also be charmed by your courteous compliment. Similarly, “appearing pleasant and attractive” requires very different clothes and preparation for a night in Excalibur (where Zardoc works) than it does in The Dorchester— a white-jacketed sleeve-gaitered dandy is as unpleasant and unattractive in Excalibur as would be most of Zardoc’s regulars in The Dorchester.

Appearing Pleasant & Attractive As we have seen, this is important. We humans, hairless apes that we are, evolved and along the way it would appear several traits have become genetically hard-wired. Allen and Barbara Pease’s excellent 2004 book Definitive Book of Body Language goes into great detail, for instance:

 • We are programmed to respond positively to baby faces (chubby cheeks, smile, wide eyes) because neglecting babies wasn’t a very good evolutionary strategy, hence we react positively when someone smiles at us, making their cheeks more chubby and their eyes wider.
• We react submissively to tall, healthy, confident, attractive people, recognizing desirable genetic traits that we would like to pass on to our offspring (Although I speak from bitter experience when I say “I’d like to pass on your desirable genetic traits to our offspring” sucks as a pick-up line). We like looking at attractive people, and while we are looking we listen to what they are saying. Tall attractive people are, in addition to being attractive, authoritative: we listen to them and follow their orders. And if they have a clear speaking voice, we are putty in their hands. In the superb 2008 book Outliers: The Story of Success, Malcolm Gladwell details how a good-looking tall man with a deep voice was elected president almost entirely because of his looks. Warren Harding turned out to be just about the worst president ever, but perhaps one of the most presidential-looking.

Eleven Things To Make Yourself More Attractive

1. Shower and (gentlemen) shave or trim your beard each day. Trim your fingernails and nose hair every week and tweeze your eyebrows. Use an odourless deodorant daily. Spritz yourself lightly with perfume or aftershave before your shift begins. Ladies: apply makeup sparingly but expertly.

2. Wear clothes that fit. Most women do, most men do not. Wear clothes that are clean and ironed with no rips or holes or other defacements.

3. Wear clothes that look good on you, and that you feel good wearing. The clothes you may want to wear may not look or feel good on you. But if you do not feel good wearing clothes that look good on you, it is time to get with the program, soldier.
4. Wear clean, polished shoes. Wear them once and then polish them again. Ladies—-and I say this knowing how painful it can be to wear them— wear heels as high as is practical for you, if you can. (I used to play rugby, and sometimes at rugby-club dinners....)

5. Wear your hair in a flattering style, wash and condition it daily. And if you style it with gel or some such, always have some at work so you can touch it up during the evening.

6. Wear attractive accessories that complement your clothes: Watch, rings, belt, tie, pocket square, non-dangling jewellery, etc.

7. Take at least one full minute to look at yourself in a full-length mirror before your shift begins. Make changes accordingly.

8. Look healthy. There is no short cut. You must be healthy. Not hung-over, but well rested, well-fed, with health oozing out of your pores. A light sun-tan helps, too.

9. Be confident. Few things are as attractive as confidence. If you do not feel confident, fake it. You will be surprised at how confidence is self-generating. Much of it will come from being well-dressed in clean clothes that look good on you, well-fed, well-rested, healthy and happy. Simply imagine that you feel happy, secure and confident, and then go get ‘em.

10. Smile. Smile when you meet someone, when you say goodbye, and at every opportunity in between. You might feel like a lobotomy patient, but no-one will ever notice that your smile is not always sincere. They will be too busy enjoying your charming company. And, the more you smile the more positive you will feel towards others.

 11. Take a course in public speaking. Learn how to project, how to pause in your sentences for effect, how to make jokes effectively, and how to get your point across. Learn to speak impressively and authoritatively— and then learn to listen, because charm is as much about letting others talk as it is about talking to them. "

                                                        - va urma -

- text preluat din Mixologist - The Journal Of The European Cocktail - Volume 3 scris de Anistatia Miller & Jared Brown (http://www.mixellany.com)

2 comentarii:

  1. Unul dintre cele mai bune si folositoare articole pe care le-am citit pana acum...Mult respect!

  2. Salutare ! Multumesc mult de vizita ! Intr-adevar este un articol foarte reusit, tocmai de aceasta am ales sa il impartasesc cu voi. Fii pe faza pentru continuare... :)