In life, we meet new people all the time. Or, at least we should. If you want to strike up a conversation with a stranger, it’s really not that difficult to do. You just need a few skills and a little courage. Here are a few tips to make that process easier. It will enrich your life with new friendships, contacts and customers. When I went to TED in 2010, I brought every t-shirt I owned that had a “conversation starter” on it. Chargers fans loved this shirt >>>.
- Add friends of friends on Facebook. Don’t go crazy with this, but from time to time, if you know “of” someone or want to know them, give a friend request a try.
- Search a company on LinkedIn and add all of the employee connections. I met someone from Intuit the other day and they said, “we’re LinkedIn friends I think aren’t we?” 🙂
- Get involved in fundraising events at your kids’ schools. Read more.
- Wear sports or school apparel at Starbucks and the grocery store. It’s amazing how many people will say “Go Buckeyes!” and you’ll even make friends with Michigan fans (if you want that).
- Engage. Engage. Engage…on…Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. These social networks work best when you comment and actually join the conversation.
- When people are talking openly, publicly, inject yourself into the conversation. This works best at a bar, standing in line or when sitting next to someone on a plane it’s a 50/50 chance they will want to engage vs. ignore you. Try anyhow and mind your own business if they are clearly not interested.
- Help people. See someone struggling with something? Lend a hand. Open a door. Let them jump the bathroom line if they are squirming like a fish.
- Compliment someone. If you like their outfit, hairstyle, choice of beverage or car color, let them know. You may not make a friend, but you may make someone’s day.
- Ask to be introduced. If you are with someone you know that knows someone else and they forgot their upbringing, ask them to introduce you!
- You know that person that you see all over town but don’t actually know. Walk up to them next time you see them and say “Hi, I don’t know you, but we see each other all the time. I’m Eric.”
Thanks to Sheryl Schuff: “when I go to organized events that give folks name tags, I always wear mine upside down. Almost everyone approaches me to ask if I realize what I’ve done LOL.” << clever