Today, I gave a talk on Periscope entitled "How To Start A Conversation With Anyone." I gave 7 great points that can truly help you in your personal or professional lives. Let's jump into the tips.
(1) Know You Have Something Valuable To Contribute
I really want to encourage you to start conversations because you have something incredibly valuable to contribute. You truly do! Simply by being you - a divinely created and inspired human being - you have something to add! My hope is that you will value you who are and what you have to share. In addition, I encourage you to be authentically you. Share from your real and true self because that's more than enough!
(2) Create Prepared Openers
For some of us, starting a conversation is really challenging. Perhaps you are introverted or a little shy. Or maybe you get a little tongue-tied. This suggestion is for you. Take some time and create a prepared opener, which is often called an "Elevator Pitch." It is simply who you are, what you do, and how you serve (or solve a problem if this is a true business situation). Spend some time crafting an opener. I encourage you to write it down. You can even practice it alone or with someone. I guarantee that a prepared opener will make you feel more confident and at ease.
BONUS: Start The Communication In A Genuine Way For You
In this digital age, you are not tied to starting a conversation in person. There are so many alternative ways to communicate. There is email, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Linked In to name a few. If you feel comfortable with one of these platforms, try using it to start a communication with someone. You don't have to start conversations in person. Do what works for you
(3) Use Something You Have In Common
An easy way to break the ice with someone is to start a conversation based on a mutual interest, a shared association or contact. Honestly, it could be something as simple as talking about the weather (especially if you live on the East Coast) or the traffic (if you live in Los Angeles). Do a little research, if necessary, to find a common interest or thread to start a conversation. It will make the person feel more comfortable with you and the conversation will likely flow easier.
(4) No One Is Better Or Greater Than You
I want you all to remember that we are all created equal. We all bleed. We are all born and one day will die. And as the saying goes, all of us put our pants on one leg at a time. Try to remember that when you are uncomfortable around someone who "may appear" to be more successful than you. This person is simply farther along in their story and you could be at the beginning or middle of yours. Please know that no one, absolutely no one, is better than you. No one!
(5) Just Do It
All it takes is a smile and a simple "Hello," "Good morning," "Good evening," or "How are you?" You will be amazed at the power of a smile and a warm, personable demeanor. People love to get to know others that look pleasant and are friendly. If you take a genuine interest in someone and approach them in a friendly manner, it can be pretty easy to get that conversation rolling!
(6) You Have Nothing To Lose
This one may be a shocker for many of you. You are reading this and probably thinking. Yes, I do have something to lose. I am going to be embarrassed. Or I will look stupid. I don't want to deny that those feelings could come up for you. However, you haven't really "lost" anything. In fact, since you didn't know the person to begin with you, you didn't lose anything by trying. In my math book, you only have something to gain - a new associate, a new conversation. Rejection is a myth. Try to remember this mindset shift when you are feeling uneasy about approaching someone new.
If you want to read more about how rejection is a myth, check out "The Success Principles" by Jack Canfield. It's a great book!
(7) Don’t Take The Rejection Personal
In the event that the conversation does not take off, please, please, please, don't take it personal. Ninety-nine percent of the time a person's reaction to you has nothing to do with you but 100% to do with what's going on with them. They may not have time to talk at the moment. They may be distracted. They may have had a terrible day. Or they might just be unfriendly, which has nothing to do with you. To be honest, it's not about you.
One of my favorite books, "The Four Agreement" by Don Miguel Ruiz, gives this amazing agreement that is so applicable here. It's the Second Agreement, which is Don't Take Anything Personal. Once you realize that how people respond and operate in the world really have nothing to do with you, you become a lot freer to just be you. Do you! Take risks. Start up conversations.
It's a brand new year. And I hope that you've set goals that require you to stretch, leave your comfort zones, which undoubtedly will require you to make new connections. I encourage you to use these tips to start a conversation with anyone. Who knows. That conversation might make your year!
Love & light,