Connecting with someone, establishing rapport, does not have to be a difficult thing, although many people find it so. Here are ten key points to remember whenever you set off to meet new people . . .
- Be happy with yourself: Much of the insecurity we feel in meeting new people has to do with how we feel about ourselves as opposed to the other person. Work hard and develop positive self-esteem.
- Act confident: . . . even if you’re not! Chances are the other person is as nervous as you are.
- Expect to connect: Think positive. Tell yourself that you “will” connect with people . . . and you will.
- Smile! It’s hard NOT to connect with somebody who’s cheerful and smiling.
- Notice others: Maybe “they” are smiling and cheerful. Maybe you are attracted to something they are saying or discussing, whatever. Just look for reasons to connect with people instead of excuses NOT to.
- Listen: One of the greatest gifts you can give another person is to listen to them. Instead of jumping in to say something, listen a bit longer instead.
- Ask questions: Go one step further and truly take an interest in what they are talking about. Ask thoughtful questions that draw them out and focus the conversation on them.
- Connect with individuals: You can speak to, present to, teach, or train large groups, but you can only really connect with the individuals in that group. Emphasize this aspect of your communication and build those one-on-one connections.
- Be willing to compromise: Meeting new people or working with new people invariably means running into positions, opinions, and practices you don’t agree with. If you want to build the relationship, expect to compromise from time to time.
- Treat others as you’d like to be treated: Just to start. As you get to know each other work hard to treat them like “they” want to be treated (which may be a very different way indeed).
- By Jim Allen