People skills is the super card to pull to handle most situations. It can rescue you from embarrasment and get you a ton of new friends. So here is a cheat sheat to making great impressions.
Find Common Ground
The ice breaker might be hard to come up with and your first line is truly important. No matter what, you always have something in common with the person you wish to approach that is relevant as an opening subject. It could be that you know the same person ( I heard you know ... and wish to send my condolenses") or are wearing the same outfit ("wow you have great taste").
You are worth talking to and if the person feels bothered by you in that moment they are not worth it. Take a few deep breaths and know that you are interesting. To keep you solid think about all you have that you will still have after the conversation.
This goes without saying and is the very thing that will make you the next Jimmy Fallon. The more you talk to strangers the better you will become. Cashiers and bus drivers alike love it when you ask how their day has been and helping a person struggeling to carry something can start a friendship. If you strike up conversations daily it will start becoming the norm and your days will definately be enriched.
Respond Rather Then React
Walking up and beeing the one taking initiative, a sense of responsbility for the conversation can wash over you. You initiated interaction so now you have to manage it and be the pilar that holds it up. This is not the case, you walked over there to get to know someone, not to have a leacture and preach. Introduce yourself with confidence, depending on their personality, they might even take the lead.
It´s also vital to listen when others speak. Repeat what they said earlier "like you said before.. " or nod to show your following and remember to respond without judgement. If you strongly disagree with what is beeing said simply use neutral phrases such as "Interesting, how come?"
Silence does not kill you, ignore Jeff Dunhams puppet. It can make a point and be a great time to grasp the situation and gather your thoughts. Although aviod using the time to think of what to say next, which might feel scripted.
Even though a silence can feel like an eternity, it is not and it is preferred to filling up space saying everything on your mind. If what you say is not relevant your crowd will stop listening and when it comes to words: quality tops quantity.
Go, talk and prosper!
I recently had the privilege to sit down and talk success with Swedish buisness owner Douglas Hellström. His company Plustid distributes daycare for busy families and he is well-respected in his field. I try and surround myself with influental and successfull people since I aspire to be one and I ask for advice. Lately I had a lot of tasks due and with juggling this website with a full time job I needed some advice on how to be superproductive without having to grow mutiple arms. This is the answers found over that lunch.
Writing stuff down creates clarity, may that be in a phone, on post IT´s or in a calender. Douglas explains he is using one "need to be done today" list and one "get done asap" - list that he checks off whenever there is some time to spare. Keeping the ”today”-list as short as possible (but not shorter) means that you have room left in the day to act on opportunities as they reveal them self. If you manage to come to this point your gutt feeling will no longer be that a phone call is a hassle or disturbance but rather a welcome potential business opportunity. Using tags in email is another great way to keep track of things, that way when you go to the grocery store you could simply search for all things you tagged in that department appears.
Empty Your Mind
Once you´ve figured out what to do to move forward, scheduele it and forget about it. Keeping it in your head will confuse and stress you wich makes the task much harder. Use your brain to create and work on productivity, it´s not made to work as storage. A human can at average remember 7 things, that means as soon as you get a new task, something else falls out, no matter how important it is. Unless your a memory master, do not put that on yourself. The important thing is to create a system that you can trust to remind you of important stuff in the right time or place. It doesn’t matter if it’s a fancy tech system or plain pen and paper. Find a trustworthy system that works for you and use it across the board or else your mind will be busy keeping ideas instead of having new ones.
Yep you have heard it before. It is the one advice that keep coming back. I used to have the bad habit of doing whatever popped up because I was afraid to forget it. It ended up with two confrontations from people meaning well and stepping in between me and the wall I was about to run into. I realised that instead preventing fires is a lot calmer then franticly putting them out scared the whole house will burn down. Douglas says that "Planning ahead is not the opposite to being spontaneous. It’s rather a requirement in order for you to act immediately without it being on the expense of something else."
Having a schedule means increasing efficiency results in having more time ..more time for fun. Spontaneity is a gift and when it swings by, make sure you are prepared to grab it.