Sunday, September 09, 2007

Patience To Earn Relationships

Everyday people meet new people in business and leisure. People converse with other people to get to know each other. Some people are more open to talk about themselves. Some people, including me, like to ask questions to start conversations and want to get to know as many people as possible. In my opinion, nobody can know too many people. Always meet people and know many people.

If the people you’re going to meet are going to be long lasting relationships whether it’s business, friends, companions, partners, acquaintances, or personal, it’s going to happen in time. Be patient. It takes time to develop, earn, and strengthen relationships. The relationship grows when you and your group participates in more events such as working on projects, taking a trip, attending a concert, playing poker, and eating at a restaurant which results in the more everyone knows each other a little at a time. Nobody is going to tell someone or a group of people his or her life history in one social event or one instance. It takes months, even years, to truly know a person or people. True and long lasting relationships say, “I know *insert name(s)* for X years.”

Be discreet when asking questions to get to know the other people when meeting for the first time. Avoid questions such as, “How old are you?” and “How much money do you make?” and “What’s your sexual orientation?” Don’t start a conversation with weak questions such as “What time is it?” Be tactful, discreet, and interesting.

Remember the other person’s name. I’m bad at remembering names. When someone approaches me and tells me we met before, I ask sincerely to remind me where we meet. And don’t laugh consistently to respond to someone’s comment, opinion, or ending a topic. It’s bad. It’s still a personal problem for me and I continue to break the bad habit. Laugh when someone makes a good joke or sarcastic remark.

Finally, some people are less open to talk about themselves. You must be more discreet and tactful when you meet and converse with private people. Don’t assume you’re a friendly person the private person opens up quickly. Ask fewer direct questions about them. Slow the conversation down. Ask questions happening at the moment such as, “Did you try the spinach dip? It’s really good.” or “Heard what happened recently *insert current event*” You must earn their trust for private people (and most people in general) to open up to you; likewise, for you are you going to reveal personal aspects of your life to people you met in an hour? Likely, the answer is no. To repeat, you’re not going to know a person’s history in one event or one instance.

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