"Where There are Friends, There is Wealth"
- Plautas (3rd century)
Do you want to know a secret? Knowing this secret will change how you see and relate to people you encounter every day. And if you implement the practical steps below, it will change your life and build your relational wealth.
Here it is: Everyone is wearing a sign around their neck.
Every day we all walk around our homes, our jobs, our churches, even the grocery store with a sign hanging around our neck. Everyone has one. And generally speaking, it says some form of the same thing. Can you guess what it says?
That's right. "Make Me Feel Special!"
That’s the secret.
I’d like to pretend that I’m a tough guy and I don’t need anyone to notice me, but I have the sign around my neck too. We all have this hidden agenda, as we relate to the world around us, to feel special and important. But what can you do with this knowledge to help build your relational wealth? Keep reading and I will tell you exactly...
Why does it matter?
Because if you realize that everyone has this need, you can use it for good. You can learn the steps below to make a new friend, make someone’s day, and build your relational wealth, one encounter at a time.
I’m warning you. This is powerful stuff. I heard it from a motivational speaker and podcaster, Arel Moodie, who’s podcast is aptly called, “The Art of Likeability.” And I believe that using this trick will help you become more likable, which is a precursor to building your relational wealth.
Exactly how to use this powerful secret
Step 1: Notice someone.
Walk into the room and look right at them. Look them in the eye. Confidently greet them with some enthusiasm and a smile. If this is uncomfortable for you, check out my previous post on eye gazing here for some practice.
You’ve noticed them. That’s powerful in and of itself. Many people feel ignored in this world and it makes sense. We are so inundated with information, thousands of messages every day, so we learn to weed out things that are not important to us or require our immediate attention.
Unfortunately, I have to admit that people right in front of me, are sometimes what I have started to weed out as not important. Even my wife and children sometimes.
Getting good at this step alone can change your life and relationships!
Step 2: Get curious.
Wonder at the amazing person in front of you. It’s truly amazing that you have met this person out of the billions of people on this planet. And this person has a unique story. Your job, as Arel says, is to find out what makes them uniquely them.
Step 3: Ask.
Let your curiosity bloom into a genuine question, where you can find out something about this amazing person you have been lucky enough to meet. Your encounter may be brief, so make the most of it.
“What brings you to this event?”, you may ask, using the immediate context. It can be simple, like “are you from here, or did you travel to get to this event?” Or it can be more complex, if you feel they are open to it.
Step 4: Listen!
Don’t be thinking about what’s going on behind that person, or trying to eavesdrop on another conversation nearby. Those are ways to make a person feel the opposite of special and important. Give them your full presence and listen to what they share.
True listening is a skill that has to be worked on, and I will devote another post to it soon. But for now, realize that you have to set aside the conversation in your head, and listen to the person right in front of you.
Step 5: Keep the conversation going.
Use whatever conversation skills you may have to continue the conversation. One of the best ways is to use some piece of what they have just shared in step 3 above, to do one of two things. Either:
1. Ask another question to learn more about something they brought up, or
2. Share something from your own life that connects with the topic at hand.
Example 1: They may have responded to your question in step #3 above that they are a marketing professional and have come to this event to look for new tips of the trade. So you use something within that answer to ask another question, such as “how long have you been working in this field?” or “what’s your favorite part of marketing?”
Example 2: Assuming the same response, you might share your own reason for attending this event. You might say, “wow, that’s really cool! I find good marketing to be really fascinating (letting them know that you were listening). I’m actually a writer so I’m at this event to get tips on creating a better online platform for my writing.”
What’s the relational wealth impact?
Think about experiences like this you’ve had in the past. When someone notices you and engages with an upbeat smile, how does that make you feel?
It makes me feel important and special! It makes me like people who act this way. It makes me want to spend time with them, get to know them, and hear what they have to say.
Try it and let me know how it’s working for you! Notice how you feel when people address you this way, and how others respond when you practice this skill with them.
For more tips like these, be sure to download my free ebook at the right. Just provide an email address and you’ll have 21 practical exercises to help you build your relational wealth.
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Joel is a husband, father, musician, and lover of life; especially life that is shared with the wealth of amazing friends and family he is blessed to have near.