Have you ever felt alone in the middle of a crowded room? You have something useful to share and no one to share it with. And, you feel stuck. You are stuck in a rut. That’s okay, I’ve been there, and I do know a way out.
Look around you. You have an opportunity for chance encounters everywhere. And yet, it’s hard. We do not know who’s who. We probably don’t know who could use what we have to share with them. We probably think that others are in their own world and we are right.
For protection, we build an invisible wall around ourselves, something to keep people out of our personal zone. We do this because we fear what they may think and we worry about what they may find if they come within it. I’m not saying you have to invite people into your deepest darkest secrets. Yet, people need to know those they are going to work with at a business casual level.
How do you do that? I would suggest a little remodeling. In other words, lessen the walls between you and the other person. Before you get the hard hat in the sledgehammer out, let’s set up a plan.
People like to be complimented. People also want to hear positive words. If you start off negative, this is what others could remember about you. You can start off by saying something nice about their tie, or you like their glasses, or someone is wearing a beautiful pendant. Or you can say something nice about the location or that so many people came to the event. Introduce yourself and shake their hand. Asked them a question about themselves. What do they do? Have they been to something like this before? Or some other topic. Keep everything positive. Stay casual, and don’t appear too pushy.
Not everyone will want to share, yet more people than you think will be happy to talk and are grateful to speak to someone for a few minutes. Why? You have just helped them to ease the restrictions on their invisible wall. If you have not done this before, just be casual, do not try to sell them anything. If asked, tell them about the things you’re working on, keeping it brief and positive.
If they seem interested, invite them out for a cup of coffee at a convenient coffee shop sometime in the next week. You want to buy the person a cup of something to drink and talk with them. One thought to remember, is that if you have something good, you want to share with your friends. What you doing here is making friends. Also, you are showing generosity which is an essential trait in friendship.
I have seen this done on an airplane jetway, in a room with 250 business people, and a small gathering of eight or 10 people, at a coworking center and many other places. Slightly modified you can do the same thing on a blog. You can do it on a social media site. The whole idea is, there are 7 billion of us. People are everywhere. All we have to do is remove the invisible walls.