Sunday, May 15, 2016

Can you instantly connect with people ?


( Photo by Johnny Delos Santos )


A few months ago, I met my officemate’s family in a supermarket. Later on she told me that her family liked me instantly. They said something like “ your boss is an awesome person. “

( Actually, I am no longer surprised with comments like that. Hahaha ! )

I recalled that I talked to them for not more than 30 seconds. I did not really do anything other than show them how genuinely happy I was to meet them.

I like to believe that authenticity spells all the difference in making a connection with people. Mark Twain said that if  we’re telling the truth, we don’t have to memorize anything. I guess it also applies to non-verbal language. If we’re not pretending, our true feelings effortlessly show in our eyes, smile, posture and gestures. People can also feel it in our voice.

But there’s one thing that prevents us from showing feelings that may lead to a good rapport. It’s when we assume that we are not worthy of other people’s attention, interest or trust.  Sometimes a voice in our head tells us that we are being judged and so, we act shy, awkward or evasive.

I should know. I was like that during many years of my life. But after having met thousands of people, I now know that nice, friendly people far outnumber the judgmental ones. I have also realized that the higher ups are shy, too. Many of them will not talk to us unless we talk to them. It’s not because they are snobbish, but because they also doubt their  own popularity and likability. ( Trust me on this observation. I have been with company bosses, tv and movie stars, senators and presidentiables! )

So, don’t be intimidated by your superiors, peers and subordinates.  In establishing connection with people, rank never matters.

An article by Harris O’Malley in The Good Men Project advises us that for people to like us when we meet them, we must assume that they already like us. It makes us act confident and we send the right signals.

He wrote  “most people are willing to give folks a chance and assume the best, provided they’re sending the right kinds of signals. People who come in defensively, or acting like they have to fight their way up from “pre-rejected”, are naturally off-putting; everything about their body language reads as “off” or “up to something.”

“Assuming that you’re already friends, on the other hand, forces you to relax. We naturally behave differently around people we are comfortable with. We aren’t as tense, our body language is more open, our way of speaking is warmer and friendlier…and people almost instinctively respond to that warmth. “

I also suggest that we make our workplace a happier place by establishing rapport with those who are too shy to say “hi.” These are mostly people who are younger or of lower rank.  They actually like us but they assume that they are not worthy of our attention.  They avoid us. If they don’t  have a choice, they just smile, say “good morning”, then look at the elevator floor indicators . Let us greet them,  say their name if we know it, and engage them in some small talk. Just ask something about their family, for example, or compliment their outfit of the day.

Genuinely liking people makes all the difference.

3 comments:

  1. Hi sir Robert, loved this blog..thanks for sharing po...

    Praying for your continued success and the best of health as always!

    God bless po! :)

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  2. Thank you so much for your comment !!

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  3. Hi Sir Robert! I love this blog!!! Among my top favorites with the social media piece hihi. I have a question. What if you know in your heart that you don't make a good first impression? As much as I try, I am usually my authentic self when meeting new people but when they see my tonsils when I lean back to laugh, or when food pops out of my mouth when I giggle, I know that awkward look-at-each-other moment, seconds before they make a polite excuse to drop out of the conversation. These experiences have taught me to tame my quirkiness depending on how ready others are to accept crazy. And perhaps depending on the situation. If it's a night out with friends,by all means get fun. But if it's a work related function, I have kept a few index card pointers on pulling off "that's an interesting piece of information, sir." And yes like you mentioned, I don't feign interest ��

    My friends (the realest ones) usually ask me how to make a good impression when going to a job interview. I always tell them with a cool shrug "Oh just be yourself," but before they head out, I shout out again, "But not too much!" ������

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