Great! I’ve just go back from a Toastmasters meeting a local tertiary institution and got to meet several new people (and friends)! The meeting was an eventful one. But what’s really got me piqued about my meeting new people was this little after-meeting conversation that took place with my new friend on our way home.
You see, I’ve never met this young lady prior to today’s meeting, but over next 45 minutes as we journeyed our way home together, we managed to share about our lives in school, past relationships, plans for the future, hobbies and interests, little gripes about her boyfriend and (are you ready for this?), she even offered to recommend me a girlfriend! My, talk about the power of networking!
Now seriously, throughout the conversation, my new friend hinted that I was “hyperactive” and that it was “apparent that (I) held myself in high esteem”. All these while I’m exhausted after my earlier exertions for taking part in an earlier camp (which explains my hiatus over the past week).
Hyperactive? High self-esteem? Are these the known characteristics of an introverted man?
I doubt it. Yet, this was the impression I gave her.
I’m not saying that I lied to win her trust or her friendship. I didn’t. I answered all her questions honestly and truthfully. Yet, despite our difference in age (I’m about half a decade older than her) and difference in our educational backgrounds, we managed to connect. And now we’re friends!
Like what I mentioned in my earlier post in It’s All About You, building rapport will require you to look through the other person’s perspectives and responses and build upon them. It’s also important that you understand what kind of “communication language” that other person is speaking. Noting her youth and exuberance, I could have killed the conversation with my lectures on how to be a better speaker and/or life in university.
Yet, our dialogue was just that – a dialogue! We spoke and we laughed at each other, with each other. And we enjoyed each others’ company throughout the duration of the bus ride! No awkward silences or blank stares.
Now how’s that for a tip on winning friends (and a potential matchmaker) over to your side in less than an hour?