Making that Connection
We hear it all the time: the secret to getting ahead in your career, or simply landing your first job out of college, is networking.
This rather broad term describes a process that many of us slink away from for one reason or another, usually while telling ourselves that only super-extroverted people ever succeed at making and keeping new connections. This is simply not true. In his article “How To Instantly Connect with Anyone” Dr Travis Bradberry discusses how we are fully in control of our ability to connect with people, make good first impressions, and nurture new relationships.
Here are a few points that will help you connect– no extroverted behavior required:
- Pay attention to how you speak. The words you say have significantly less meaning than the manner in which you speak them. Your tone and meter of voice, combined with the body language you portray when interacting with someone, will determine what kind of first impression they are left with.
- Display “open” body language: uncrossed arms, slightly angle yourself toward the person you’re talking to, maintain eye contact, etc.
- Go beyond the superficial. Talking about the weather may be your go-to conversation starter because it’s something easy that you and another person will have in common, as you’re both experiencing it. The secret to making real connections is to quickly move beyond these superficial, “small-talk” conversations on to more important conversation topics, such as the driving force behind one’s decision to pursue one career over another. This is a quick way to discover what makes another person tick.
- Use their name. This is a surprisingly small thing that leaves a big impression. Everyone likes to be referred to by name– it shows recognition and an effort to remember and utilize a big part of their identity.