Tag Archives: Conversation

Are You A Leader Of Your Life? Or A Passive Follower?

How To Become a Relentless Heat Seeking Missile

One of the best ways to improve your communication skills with other people is to create a solid set of underlying objectives. Most people float through life with only a vague desire to avoid as much pain and discomfort as possible, and this comes across in their communication. They come across protective of their egos and hesitant to speak their true feelings for fear of rejection and ridicule.

Of course this can be a hard thing to overcome. We have been trained since we were children that it is dangerous to speak our minds. At first, everybody loved us. Every single thing we did was cute and adorable. But then once we hit two or three, we became sometimes cute, and sometimes a nuisance. And the times we were a nuisance, we were told through several different and subconscious channels of communication.

It’s not wonder then that public speaking is the biggest fear in America today. We have been so programmed to be uncertain of any response to our expression that we more often than not live under the illusion that it is safer to just be quiet and as expressionless as possible.

However, the great paradox of communication is that while we crave somebody that will give us inspiration and direction, the best solution is to simply be that person to others. Most people are sitting around waiting for somebody else to go first and lead the way. Most people don’t consider the idea that it is just as easy and natural to lead, as it is to follow.

One of the ways to do this is to simply choose a few things that you’d like to create in life. The more you focus on these, the more they will start to present themselves through your various interactions with people.

The sad fact is that most people don’t have any goals in life to speak of, other than the ones that were given to them by society. Get a decent job, get a family, put in an honest days work every day. Be a good model citizen and don’t cause any problems.

If that is what you truly want, then I’m all for it. Those that are the happiest in their jobs and relationships have actually taken the time to ensure it really is their choice to live that particular life. However, it is becoming more and more apparent that more and more people seem to be drifting along through life half asleep, hoping the general expectations laid down by the collective society will be enough to give them happiness. Often times it is not.

One way to get started is to sit down and think about the things in your life that really like, and the things you don’t like. Make a plan to increase the amount of things you like, and decrease the things you don’t like. Most people, obviously, have a pretty good idea of what they like and what they don’t like. Very few have taken the time to formulate a plan to get more of the good stuff, and less of the bad stuff.

Most people drift through life hoping that more good stuff will magically appear, and the bad stuff will be taken away by some benevolent god or government.

When you develop a solid plan, and start to focus on achieving it, your daily interactions with people will magically transform. You will be seen as somebody who has a clear objective in life. Somebody that knows what they want. Somebody to be respected.

This has a strange, perhaps metaphysical way of coming through in your daily conversations. Perhaps due to the large amount of communication that takes place below conscious awareness, people can pick up on the fact that you are on a mission of your own choosing rather than shuffling to the collective beat of society.

How do you get there? Pick a few major goals you’d like to achieve in a years time. Get really specific. Every day, focus on one of your goals. Spend a few minutes imagining it and making it truly compelling. Focus on each day with something, anything you can do to get you closer. Spend a few minutes every night mentally reviewing your day and highlighting any efforts you made in the direction of your goal.

Man is a nomadic creature, designed through evolution, or God, or Mother Nature, to be a seeker, not a follower. Man was designed to find a point far, far off in the distance, and to relentlessly pursue it. We were not designed, nor do we come close to our potential, by keeping our head down and obediently shuffling along.

Find that point off in the distance, whatever it is. Make it real. Visualize it. Pursue it. Achieve it.

And let nothing, no man, no woman, no institution of society stop you.

The Magic of Conversation

I had a friend once who was telling about his brother in law. His brother in law was the kind of guy that didn’t really talk much, but you had this feeling that there was something really deep inside. Like when you were to look at this person, you were to get this feeling that there is something really special here. He never seemed to get upset. Anyways, he said that there was this problem he was having at work. He had noticed a problem on the production line where he worked, and it seemed that he was the only person to notice this. And he was kind of afraid to tell his boss, because she had a reputation for being kind of strict and by the book. He was really afraid to approach her, and start a conversation with her.

I had another friend that was a really good salesman. He worked for some really interesting modeling agency. His job was to go out and walk up to any girl he saw that he thought qualified as a model. He said at first that it was really nerve racking. He thought that he would receive a lot of rejection, approaching attractive women all. He had this imagination that they might misunderstand his motives, and not realize that he was offering them an opportunity rather than taking advantage of them. I loaned him a book of mine that I’d read on the subject.

Which is interesting when you think about it. Everywhere you go; there are all kinds of people walking around. All with different histories, backgrounds, and stories about what they see around them. Some of them can be really interesting, and some can even be fascination. It’s awe-inspiring when you look around you and when you see this person, you can imagine the treasure that is inside them. A friend and I were talking once about this subject. When the topic of being able to approach new people came up, he merely stated what he thought was the obvious. There is treasure! And when you think about it, how many ways can you imagine discovering treasure inside others, and sharing it with them? Imagine how you can make them feel incredibly happy. And the cool thing is they probably won’t even know what’s going on, so they’ll probably think this new happiness is coming from you.

After my friend read the book I loaned him, he was able to go out and approach many women every day. A large percentage said they weren’t interested, but even the ones that said “no thank you,” were polite to him, and thanked him, anyways. Even on days when he went out and didn’t get any contact information for his company to follow up on, he still was able to feel a boost to the ego, just for the experience.

So when he finally approached his boss to tell her about the problem on the production line, she was amazed at his perception. She was so happy, that he got a promotion, and at their semi-annual meeting, she gave him additional thanks in front of all his coworkers, because he’d saved the company so much money. Amazing things happen when you use your ability to communicate.


How To Make New Friends Anywhere, Anytime

One of the things I find most fascinating is how quickly you can get to know some people. Most people, it generally takes a while. You need to share experiences, become comfortable enough to talk about things until you can feel you know this person. Maybe you only see them for a little a couple times a day. Maybe you only see them once a week. And then you feel you know them in this particular context, you begin to share other things. Your family, funny stories about your childhood. The teacher you had a crush on in second grade. That thing that your partner or significant other did (and hopefully still does) that drives you insane with desire.

I remember once I was talking to this lady. We’d only been acquainted for a total of about two hours. It was the third time I’d seen her. Either she is a really outgoing person, who is able to feel really comfortable with almost anybody, or she just felt she really trusted me. She started telling me things about her daughter that I thought were kind of personal, but interesting. Nothing too terrible, just typical mother daughter stuff that people talk about sometimes. It’s funny when you feel really comfortable with somebody you’ve first met, so that you can experience.

I remember once I was by myself in a foreign country. And most people didn’t speak much English. I was feeling brave enough to venture out of my hotel room. My hotel was a large international one, and some of the staff spoke English, so I was comfortable enough while in the hotel. But once I left the hotel, it was a totally different ballgame. It was a totally different sport. I started walking around, figuring that I’d be ok, as long as I could make a beeline back to my hotel if I ran into trouble. I saw what looked like a large shopping mall. I decided I’d have a look around, and see if I could find something interesting. Who knows, maybe I would feel brave enough to go and try to buy something.

Suddenly I spotted something interesting. Across the mall, was a guy that looked to be about the same age as me. He was wearing a sweatshirt from my alma mater. Suddenly feeling courageous at the sight of those big black letters which evoked many fond memories, I decided to go and talk to him.
I asked him if he spoke English, and he replied that he did. I asked him about his sweatshirt, and it turns out he graduated the same year as I did! We had an amazing time chatting over a meal at a small restaurant that he showed me where they serve the local cuisine. It was fantastic.

The funny thing was, I would have never have guessed that this person was so interesting, and that we share so many things in common. Had he not been wearing that sweatshirt which immediately caused me to remember good memories and feelings, I never would have been able to develop the courage to go and talk to him. It made me wonder. How many other people am I missing out on meeting simply because I don’t allow myself to feel the feelings that will make a chance meeting turn into a great afternoon?

And it turns out that the lady was preparing me to meet her daughter. She was telling me the bad things about her up front, because she was planning on introducing me later. I guess her strategy was to respect me enough to give me a fair idea of her. Because when I finally did meet her, she was absolutely stunning. Had I not heard the stories about her from her mother, I might have fallen into the trap of thinking, merely because of her looks, that she was a stunning angel devoid of any human frailties. As it turns out, she wasn’t my type, and I wasn’t hers, so everything worked out.

I think a great idea when meeting new people is to always look for similarities. Because we are more alike than we are different, you can’t go wrong, and you’ll always be able to make new friends wherever you go.


Instant Conversation Skills

Who is that over there?  Wow. They look kind of interesting. Should you go talk to them? What if they don’t like me? What if I don’t know what to say?

Have you ever had these thoughts? Evil blobs of mind poison that instantly crippled any short lived hopes you’d had of maybe being able to make a friend?

Well, you are in luck, because I am going to not only show you a foolproof way to start a conversation with a complete stranger, but how you can make them do all the talking, and end up thinking you are the stunning conversationalist.  Ready? Let’s go.

You will need three basic tools.

1) How to form a tag question.

2) How to ask interesting, open ended follow up questions.

3) Basic body language reading skills.

First thing you need to do is approach casually, and stand a few yards from them for a couple of minutes.  Just find any old excuse to go hang out near their “space.” While you are standing there, notice something interesting about the environment. The trees, the weather, anything that makes you think, just a little bit, wow, cool. Let’s say you see a cool leaf on a tree. (This is just an example, if there are no trees in your situation, this probably won’t work out so well). Look at the leaf, imagine out how cool it is. Try and think of all the stuff that’s happened since the big bang, and here this leaf is right here, being all leafy.

Now you make your move. Bust out your brilliant tag question.

“Wow, that is a really cool leaf, isn’t it?”

Be sure when you say the “isn’t it” part, you don’t make it sound like a question. Make it sound like a statement. And smile. Next come your wicked body language skills. If the person responds with “um, yea” and looks like he or she just found a cockroach in their kool aid, then move on, the conversation is over. If they look at the leaf, and then at you, you’re in. Bonus points if they match your smile.

Next you ask your open ended question. About anything that’s easy to talk about, the surroundings, party, bar, study session, whatever.

“So what do you think about….” and insert any old topic. Then as he or she is speaking, watch their face for signs of life.  Whatever they say when their face lights up, grab it.

Watch them talk, watch their face, and ask them for more information about things they seem happy about. Nothing too personal. Some good questions are:

How do you feel about..

What do you like about…

What is your favorite part about…

Just pick out a few words here and there, follow up on them while you speak, and they will think you are the greatest conversationalist since Dale Carnegie. Make sure to throw your name out in there someplace, don’t wait for them to ask. They’re probably nervous. It’s not everyday people get approached by a wicked word master like you!

Make sure to come back often, and tell your friends, as I will be posting several “How To..” articles that can easily improve your life in many ways.