The Art of Meeting New People
As social beings, meeting new people is an essential part of the human experience, and the ability to connect with anyone quickly and confidently, is one of the most rewarding skills we can develop (and is exactly what my latest podcast guest, Rob Lawless is doing – he’s on a mission to meet 10,000 people for 1 hour each).
Meeting new people can bring amazing individuals into our lives, open up the door for new opportunities, or simply make for an interesting moment.
But as we all know, sometimes it’s hard to break the ice, and, if you’re like me, you’ve found yourself wondering:
How do I start the conversation?
Do they even want to talk to me?
What if it gets awkward?
Is it even worth it?
Instead of thinking about what could go wrong, what would be possible if we got excited about what could go right?
That is one of my favorite go-to reminders when I feel shy or intimidated, and here are a handful of my favorite ways to break the ice & connect once I get the courage to initiate a conversation.
•Say “hi,” make a general observation, give an honest compliment, or ask them an easy question (like “It’s my 1st time here, do you know what this place is best known for?”)
•Trust your gut, follow your curiosity about them, and be a good listener to know how to best navigate the conversation.
•Lead with Vulnerability. Be open and honest about what you’re up to and how it’s going. “Vulnerability begets vulnerability,” says Brené Brown, so if you open up, they likely will too – which often leads to meaningful connection.
•Ask the person what they are excited about (to give them a chance to talk about it and get excited in that moment).
And if you want to take it next level and really go deep:
•Ask them what their biggest challenge is at the moment.
•Get bonus points for trying to help them in any way or connect them to someone that can.
Feel feel to give these a try next time you find yourself in a state of social indecision or awkwardness, and if you want more insight on the topic of meeting new people, definitely tune into Episode 184 of the Are You Being Real Podcast, where I sit down with social experimenter, Rob Lawless (@robs10kfriends).
Through his mission to meet and get to know 10,000 new people, he’s been able to learn a thing or two about what it takes to connect with others and hold riveting 60-minute conversations with complete strangers, so if you want to know how he works on this project full-time, how he manages the relationships he creates, and how to find the courage to start your own movement, tune in to Episode 184.