Last week I joined a ‘Business Mentoring’ program by one of the large banks in Australia. All my work colleagues who said they were also going to attend… failed to attend. This meant I was either going to sit by myself for three hours or I needed to meet new people.
I looked around the room and everyone was older then me and as you would expect – ran a business.
I decided to meet some new people but there was a problem. Everyone else in the course looked like a wall flower with their backs to the wall and they did everything in their powers to pro-occupy themselves. They would stare at the walls and pretend to be interested in the pattens, people would be completely focused on their mobile phones or they would simply sit there in an awkward silence looking down on the ground.
It sounds like an easy concept but many fail at the basics. Why would someone converse with you when you don’t like you want to. Create positive body language. Don’t cross your arms and put your hands in your pockets.
Your mobile phone allows you to keep in contact with your friends so it is easy to whip out your mobile phone and send someone a Facebook/Twitter/Text message.
Making eye contact is always the first way we start a relationship so it is important to be looking at the people you want to be conversing with. When you connect with someone with your eyes you should then…
It takes more muscles to frown then it does to smile. I don’t need to tell you all the benefits to smiling more but what I do need to tell you is that a simple smile is warming and your success rate for striking up a conversation is a lot higher then if you stare at them blankly.
We have two ears and one mouth so in theory we should listen more then we talk. If you want to be successful in communicating you need to be able to listen to people. Everybodies favourite person in the world is themselves so ask a question then step back and listen to them. Finally…
Forget The Judgement
Who cares what this stranger is going to think about your story. Many of us are uncomfortable with new people because we fear what they are going to think about us. Yes you have different interests but you will eventually find common ground.