Message to My son
If there is one lesson I leave my son with about this world, it’s that for the most part, every single person walks around every day thinking about one thing; themselves. The easiest way to connect with another human being is to remember that truth.
They’re thinking about themselves and you’re thinking about yourself. Even in a situation of being teased or bullied, the bully isn’t thinking about you, he’s thinking about himself and how embarrassing you, makes him feel.
We all walk around with our heads so far up our butts sometimes and honestly, it’s probably a good thing. Think about it, if all those self-conscious moments you have, when you think someone heard you say this or saw you do that, actually existed, you would really be screwed.
Whew! Thank the heavens.
But, I want you to remember this because it literally is the case in every situation in your life: business, colleagues, friends, spouse, kids, neighbors, etc.
When you’re interacting with someone, anyone, take a minute, just one minute. Remind yourself that this whole interaction is about them, and what they want and what they’re doing, and how what you’re doing helps them and I guarantee your ability to connect with them will be 100x easier.
It’s Simple, But Maybe Not Easy
Let me give you a practical example; networking events. I know, I shivered a bit when I typed it, the dreaded networking events right.
So here you are once again. It’s your second or twentieth networking event and you haven’t quite fallen in love with how sleazy and disingenuous it could all feel. I get it. Palms sweaty, your heart rate just increased by 5 and you haven’t even gotten out of the car yet.
We both know why you’re here. You have to attend networking events to get your business and face, in front of other people in your industry, Blah Blah Blah. But you’re stuck in your head trying to figure out what to say when you walk up to the group of people that already seem so comfortable with each other.
Let’s be real. The number one thing everyone walking into a networking event is thinking about is… drum roll, please…. themselves. How can I make myself, my business, stand out and appeal to every single person in this room?
There’s only one answer… Connect. The easiest way to connect is to be the one person in the room not thinking about themselves!
Ok, I know I said that already but I don’t feel like you 100% get it in an applicable way yet. So, let’s take a step back. I want you to think about some of the conversations you’ve had in the past week.
Now pick out the ones where you thought, wow that was a great conversation with so and so. Now take that same conversation and ask yourself, who did the majority of the talking? 9 out of 10 times, I would bet money, the majority talker was you. What makes a good conversation great, is the ability of the person you’re conversing with, to listen.
Key To Success
Your key to success in these events and in life is to connect through listening. Be the best listener in the room. We both know you don’t give a rats’ tail about how many mason jars, Stella’s Design Services rented out to Tim, Tom or Jane. But Stella cares! So, ask her about it. Ask her how she manages to appeal to rustic brides?
When Jon the mortgage broker starts talking about buying down points and FHA vs VA vs 3% conventional, I get it, you may not give a rat’s ass, I know I don’t, but you know who does, Jon! Ask Jon if he’s ever thought about providing mortgage tips to first-time homebuyers.
You do this, you find out what interests’ people and get them talking about the most important thing, themselves, they’ll walk away remembering you. Remembering what you do and how great you are because you cared about them.
Because you were the one person that whole day who didn’t push your agenda into their face. You didn’t ask or require anything, you just listened. You allowed them to be the most important person in the room.
I want you to try it. Try it with a friend or your boss or your spouse. Really listen, listen to their body language, listen to what they’re saying.
Listen with an intent to understand, not respond.
And remind yourself it’s not about me, this is about them. I promise you, your connections will strengthen and the people around you will begin almost intuitively, to wonder what it is that you want.