As many of you know I hang on the 'gift of gab' as my platform for just about everything I do. I love what I do and I love being social with people even more. People energize me! It's taken me all my life to become just as astute a listening as it has speaking. This is the real key opening hearts and minds.
Here's a list of things I think are important when making new friends, both professional and personal:
- Be honest. You spread lies and you'll forget where you dropped them.
- Look, listen and learn. Eye contact, smiles, nodding and positively enriched communication is the only real way that someone knows that you're connected at that moment.
- If you debate, know your point 100% OR simply exercise the point as a question within the discussion.
- You don't have to like everyone and not everyone has to like you. With that said you must try to leave any conversation with the sense that you gave them adequate time and your respect.
- If you're connecting with someone on a topic, drill deeper on how you arrived at that similarity. You'll find even more connections this way.
- Laugh with, not at someone.
- It's best to avoid confrontational conversation such as politics, religion and sometimes even sports. People's direct passions may come into conflict with your own sensibilities. Remember, if you're caught in a bad conversation, chances are you're the one that got you to that place.
- You can always walk away. In life and business there's no reason to fall victim to anything.
- Be who you are in "real life." If you're a funny person, be funny, articulate person be respectfully intelligent. The reason being is sometimes your clients become life-long friends and it's best to show them who you are right away.
- When you go to an event see if you can remember a short but beneficial story to tell that would be topical. Then if pulled into a conversation you have a go-to topic that applies.
- If you have constructed a self brand it's your job to maintain that personification.
- Be kind, humble and try to enjoy the sometimes fleeting moments you have with new people. You can learn a great deal and sometimes those moments might lead to something great.
As I reread this post it seems that all of these points should be no-brainers. But having said that, these points are never truly mastered, they're more of groundwork for verbal communication. I write these posts sometimes simply to have them said to myself most it the time and I hope that of benefit to others. As always I'd love to hear your comments, questions and thoughts.