5 Ways To Get Someone Who Doesn’t Know You To feel Comfortable Talking

You have about ten seconds before a person decides, subconsciously, whether they like you or not. Also, the image or impression someone has of you the first time the person meets you will last the next seven time the person will come to meet you. All that to show how important and delicate it can be to start and connect with a new contact. Whether you are in business, journalism, politics, or unemployed, it comes a time you need to solicit the service of attention of someone. It might be at a conference, at a meeting, during a plane trip, on the street…And yet, the person you are trying to talk to does not feel comfortable talking. What a pretty uncomfortable and awkward situation, isn’t it? There can be plenty of reasons why a person will not feel comfortable talking to you. Some reasons might be directly linked to you and some not. And of course, at the end of the day, if someone doesn’t want to talk to you, so what? Isn’t the world full of people to talk to? Yet, even if that last assertion is true, we can neglect or hide the shame we feel inside of us when addressing to someone, the person doesn’t feel comfortable to reply. To help you clear that issue forever, here are some tips that I’ve learned from the Relationship development expert Ketith Ferrazzi. Keith Ferrazzi is known as the youngest executive from a Fortune 500 company and he is also known as one of the most connected business man and entrepreneur in the US. Visit Keith Ferrazzi expert page at Act2be.com

How Do You Get Someone Who Doesn’t Know You To feel Comfortable Talking?

  1. First of all, share with the person a hearty smile. You probably read me on another post and I was pointing the importance of the smile. Smiling is such a relationship key when it comes to have a healthy connection with someone. By smiling, you send that message: “I’m approachable.”
  2. Have a good eye contact. Your eye contact must be balanced. Do not stand there starring at the person with your eyes wide opened as if he was coming from Mars, the person will be scared. Instead, keep an about 80% eye contact. An eye contact less than 70% of the time may make the person believes that you are not that much interested and have something else to do. A 100% of the time, again, will be a little bit scary for the person. The balance will at about 80% of the time to keep the eye contact.
  3. Look relax. So many times you will see people talking to someone else with arms crossed. To make the other person feel comfortable talking, you need to unfold your arms and look relax. Remember people tend to react according to your body language.
  4. Watch out for the distance between you and the person. Make sure you do not invade the other person’s space. When you do so, the person feel unsecured and uncomfortable and then the person will tend to step back to regain his distance. When respecting the distance between the two of you and showing engagement and interest by nodding your head and leaning in, the person will be more opened to keep up with you.
  5. Master your act of touching. Touching is such a powerful act. In Africa, shaking someone hand with your two hands is a tremendous sign of respect. Many people show that their intentions are friendly by shaking hands. If you are coming from a distance give a wave and a smile as you approach the person before shaking the hands.

Because relationship matters, everything has to be done to continuously empower them and the extra effort starts right at the beginning when getting the person you don’t know yet to feel comfortable talking.

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  1. #1 by reflectionsofaprodigalson on August 17, 2010 - 10:44 pm

    Some very good advice. I particularly like the advice on distance. When I was younger, I used to have difficulty establishing rapport. In the end, I advised that it might because I am a big man. It was suggested to me that I might want to keep an extra pace or two of distance than the average person would. This has proved to be very successful for me.

    • #2 by Max-Marc Fossouo on August 17, 2010 - 11:05 pm

      Thanks for your feedback! In fact stepping back one or two steps was a great advice especially for physically influencing people. A friend of mine who was selling door-to-door had the same issue and he got the same recommendation from the management team.

  2. #3 by Yacine on August 18, 2010 - 8:15 am

    I love the image of Domenech 🙂
    Nice article, as always !

    • #4 by Max-Marc Fossouo on August 18, 2010 - 12:38 pm

      I hope he is not going to sue me for using his image to light up my point 🙂

  3. #5 by Sandro on August 29, 2010 - 5:48 pm

    Nice article… Simple but powerful… I think for point #4 is influenced by culture… In North America for example more space is required than in say Morocco or Guinea-Bissau… So distance is fine but we need to know that is perceived differently across the globe… I love your point about touching or say handshake… I had a class where the prof started off by greeting everyone with a handshake and a smile on 1-2-1 introduction… This was a powerful tool to even in getting her a very good evaluation as she wiped out the natural negative pre-judgment we sometimes have have at first encounter with profs… Good post Max

  4. #6 by blog post on June 30, 2012 - 4:14 pm

    It’s really a great and useful piece of information.
    I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us.
    Please keep us informed like this. Thank you for sharing.

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