Why 10? I’m not sure. Lists are often 10. Let’s see how it pans out.
- “Eyebrow pop” when you see someone you know or want to know. This non-verbal means: we’re friends!
- Smile! Do you like people who smile at you? Return the favor.
- Be the first to say Hi or make a friend request on social networks. It makes the other person feel special. It also opens up your world – you’ll make many more connections if you reach out rather than waiting for everyone else to make the first move. The more you do it, the easier it will be, and the more confident you’ll become.
- Use the other person’s name when speaking with them. People love to hear their names.
- Remember what they were up to when you last saw them and ask about it. How did the car buying go? Did they ditch those socks that were irritating them? Make notes if you have to. This is what connections are made of – showing another person that they have enough importance in your world that you remember what is going on in theirs. It’s also an opportunity to exercise your memory.
- Ensure you really listen and understand what someone is saying. Make acknowlegement noises and succintly repeat what they’ve said back to them. You have only understood what they’re saying if they agree with your summary. Everyone wants to be understood.
- Be agreeable when debating. Rather than just focusing on the points of disagreement, acknowledge where you agree with them.
- Give credit where credit is due. Actively seek this opportunity out. Talk about all the good things someone has done. Or even the good things that you’ve heard that they’ve done. The person who you were speaking well of will appreciate it. And the person who you tell will see you as a positive person and someone who promotes others. They will want to associate with someone who is positive and likely to promote the good things that they do as well. It will also benefit you – seeing the world in a positive light and making others happy will make you feel better.
- Physically mirror people and use open body language. We like and feel more attune with people whose movements are similar to ours – or at least we do as long as they’re not negative and directed at us. Mirror the positioning and movements of the other person. If their body language is closed off, match it and mirror it, but then try to open theirs up by opening yours up. Once you two are in sync, they might subconsiously follow you into a more open stance. If their body language is open, it’s more likely that their mind will be too.
- Learn how to extract yourself from a conversation positively. This is one that I really need to work on. I always feel like I need to state my reason for walking away and if I’m not ready to leave the premises, I don’t know what that good reason would be. So this is especially a problem for me if I’m at a “networking event.” And incredibly awkward if I walk away and don’t have someone or somewhere to walk to. And the big problem is if they don’t have someone to talk to. Pairs are dangerous. Small groups that I can move between are so much better. I feel like these networking events should always have more than one room and multiple food and beverage areas so that there’s always privacy and an opportunity to keep moving. What if I say “It was great talking with you!” and walk away? No reason or excuse given? Will that work? Will they still feel positive about the interaction? Can I pull it off? What else can I say? I’ll need to look this one up. I need help.
Well… I like my 10. And I don’t currently feel like I need to list an 11th. That worked. Now I need to practice. I should try focusing on one per week. Repeat until it’s ingrained.