People talk to only an estimated 2 to 3 percent of the strangers that pass them by. No, this is not a shocking statistic; they are strangers, after all. But imagine how much you could expand your network by talking a little more at work events! Stephanie Vozza shares six tips to make the most of “stranger things” in an article for Fast Company.
In the first place, look approachable. Do not keep your eyes on the floor, and smile to show you are open to conversation. I hate when I walk down a narrow hallway and a person walking past me cannot even muster eye contact. Cowards! But speaking of which, Vozza shares Marriott Hotels’ employee “15-5 rule”: If they are within 15 feet of guests, they must give a friendly nod, and if within five feet, they must say hello. You might want to give that a try.
Another tip is to assume that other people are shy, because allegedly 70 percent of people claim to be shy. That means you probably do not need to worry about what the other person thinks of you, because that person is busy wondering what you think of him or her. Remember that it often only takes one mutual interest to strike up a good, memorable conversation, so look for clues in your environment for an ice breaker. Likewise, remember to actually pay attention during that conversation.
Finally, if you learn something about the person that is really striking, then ask to exchange business cards (etc.). Follow up and watch a wonderful professional relationship blossom.
You can view the original article here: https://www.fastcompany.com/3031530/hit-the-ground-running/6-steps-to-turn-strangers-into-connections