Saying hello is the number one way to impact your career.
We are more likely to notice change after an event, not during. We notice our tires when they need replacing, not the daily wear that driving takes. With relationships, it is no different. We notice big gestures that could define them, as oppose to the small ones that do.
I wrote on the importance of taking the first step with any project or action. With relationships, the first step is to say hello.
Connecting is a skill, it can be learned
There are a number of reasons on why people don’t actively connect with others – fear being one – and there are two truths on why people might not say hello:
- They don’t need anything from the person
- They have nothing to give the person
That’s it, connections are missed over a presumption that there is no need to connect to others. This cannot be further from the truth, you have much value to give contacts. Words, information and access to your network being only a few.
Making new connections is not about having +20 charisma and confidence, all you need is one word and to remember your name: “Hello, I’m _________________”.
Missed opportunities change your life
Connection with others – saying hello – is difficult as we don’t need to do it often. If you are not in a role that requires it, there doesn’t appear to be a need in meeting others as we can get most of our work done from a core group.
Meeting others is what creates opportunities though. Opportunities you’ll never know exist until you start sticking your hand out and saying hello. Business partnerships, spouses, and friends are all made this way, and typically those are relationships created by chance.
Saying hello to others is giving chance a head start. To say the result of meeting others is unknown is perhaps the greatest understatement I’ll make on this site.
To learn any skill, set a goal
Hello really is the hardest part of any conversation. Start this week by saying hello to a few people and make a goal to have a conversation with at least 1 new contact a week (or month).
Metrics drive performance, if you want to be better at connecting with others and finding value to offer, set a goal. Some use LinkedIn as a goal setting device for connections, although always remember relationships don’t follow the “set it and forget it” mentality, they need contact to stay strong.
After you become more comfortable approaching new connections one-on-one, you can set goals around approaching groups. Relationship building is a skill, and like any skills you need to practice it to get better.
ABG – Always be giving
When meeting a new connection, only use conversation about the weather as an emergency chute deployment. Very few people build strong connections over talk of the local sports team defeating the visiting sports team. Strong connections are built from shared insight, common values, and memorable interactions.
Ask questions about:
- Why they are at the event/place
- About their role
- If you can help them in any way this year
- About shared connections at the event of office
Helping others accomplish their goals is a certain path to great relationships. Whenever you meet someone for the first time, think about what value you can offer. One never knows where a new connection might lead. But first, you have to say Hello.
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The opinions and articles shared on this site by Tim are entirely his own unless otherwise credited, and are not representative of TD's views, position, strategies, or opinions.