There you are at another conference with that awful feeling that you are alone and everyone else is somehow connected or connecting. Wouldn’t it be cool to have a magic wand that would get you instantly connected and known with everyone. I haven’t found a magic wand.
Instead, I have found that the same skills that connect you in private are the same skills for connecting in public gatherings. It has nothing to do with fame, fortune or special gifting. Anyone can learn and do them (which means yes, you can learn them), because they are universal to all humans.
Five people in their own way expressed the skills at a recent conference we attended. (In the audio recording/podcast, we share the full stories of interacting with these 5 people and more application.)
1. Michael Hyatt: Be 100% Present with the Person. Both time that I interacted with Michael, he had a demand upon his time, yet he was 100% present with me. In fact, one time he turned off his phone to talk to me. Classy.
2. Cliff Ravenscraft: Be Authentic and Deeply Care. During a group gathering, Cliff made it a point to connect with us despite the fact that he had many people asking for his attention. He showed that he cared equally for everyone present.
3. Chris Brogan: Be Available. Chris spent many hours in the main hall at the main walkway to connect with whomever. He said he ventured no more than 20 feet the whole time. When we visited with him, he gave us a ton of his time despite others waiting to chat. When the conference was over, he came over to our table and chatted more, instead of going to his hotel room.
4. Dan Miller: Be Honest and Quality of Quantity. During a lunch gathering, we asked Dan Miller about a name for our upcoming parenting podcast. He was graciously honest that it stunk. He also shared that he preferred small private gatherings to the masses. Over the conference, I saw him often at a small table deep in conversation with one or two people.
5. Jared Easley: You can Give what Everyone Wants. One year ago, Jared was unknown. How did he go from unknown to being one of the better known? He gave what everyone wants: to be noticed or to be known. Anyone can give that by making it a habit to notice others and acknowledge them.
How does this apply to making Great Friends? These are the exact same principles that help you make Great Friends.
What can you apply from this? If you are like me, I think that certain people have a special skill to make deep connection (and I ain’t one of them). The truth is that anyone can do these things. If you want to make Great Friends: Be present, be authentic, care, be available, be honest, value depth and give to others. This means you have the ability to do all this and more. Learning and applying it is were the work begins.
Application: The best teacher is to do it. So, I beg you to ask a friend out for lunch and practice two of these skills. Please tell me how it went.
Key Concept: You can learn the key skills to connect in public as well as private, because they are the same. No one is born with the magic set. They are learned and then applied.
Question: If you could develop one of these skills, which one would it be and why?