Hey guys and welcome to a new weekly challenge!
This week it is going to be all about connecting with new people, acquaintance or plain old friends by focusing in on adding value by helping them out and not expecting anything in return – basically being an unpaid consultant in YOUR area of expertise. Monday to Friday – as always – so we can make a focused effort to grow towards becoming a better version of ourselves.
Last week was about taking time to meet with friends during the week, and really being present and 100 % focused on that meeting and nothing else – Quality Time. That also meant helping these friends out; talking about each other’s life and trying to find ways to help each other; because that’s what’s friends are for. Being there for each other, giving advice, just listening, reflecting and analysing together. What I realised during these meetings was that it really felt so good to be able to help people in areas I felt confident in, but also the connection that was created as a result of that.
Helping people out is so incredibly powerful. To give without asking for any in return makes an impact and creates a bond. It’s a life skill and an attitude that properly can change your life if you learn to use it in the right way. Just think about it, when did someone help you out the last time? How did it made you feel? Grateful, feel stronger for that person now?
At least for me, and as a result of past week, I’ve realised first-hand what this does for the connection and I want do develop this skill further, which means giving it full attention. So wouldn’t you say that it’s worth a few minutes a day, for five days, focusing in on practicing only that; developing your skills for how to help people out by basically just applying a simple framework? For me it’s obvious – it’s a must do weekly challenge!
Always when I focus in on an area I try to research the expert’s advices on the topic, get different inputs and advices on how to do what I’m trying to do. And so I stumbled across this video on YouTube with a talk about how to connect with powerful and influential people by Michael Ellsberg, a guy whom has written books about the key successes factors of millionaires. And he managed to meet with these highly regarded people by talking is way there. So in his talk, he shared his way for how he manages to create deep connections with people and forming strong bonds; creating relationships that enabled him to get to know some of the richest people in the world. But the method he’s using is applicable in most contexts and situations!
In a nutshell, it’s all about helping people out without asking for anything in return – being an unpaid consultant that just gives value in all the ways you have the ability to help. So we are going to dedicate this week to be a true helper; listening to people and doing what we can to make that person we’re talking to leave that interaction with sense of having gained something. It’s quite easy on an overall level, but then of course, it’ so many factors that comes into play when it comes to connecting with people, where body language and the micro expressions you send out – according to research – plays the biggest part, But that’s not the focus of this week.
The major problem people do, and know me mainly are talking about people that we admire, look up to, VIP people, or just people we feel socially or mentally inferior to – is that we feel a sense of unworthiness – oh we get to talk to this highly regarded person, it’s so special. So we but the person on a pedestal and ourselves in a kneeled position. Which is all wrong! It’s just a person – a breathing human being – of course you can admire them, but in the end it’s just another person. And having this mind-set transform your approach and body language radically. Although it requires some practice to get used to. But you are worthy and you have nothing to lose, when you can play that game – all win and no risk, you play a hell of a better game, trust me!
When this is accepted – you’re ready for the actual game plan. Almost, because first we need to do some proactive work and realise what areas of expertise we have. The main problem people do when they talk to new people they are impressed by, is that they often keep the conversation in their areas of expertise; giving compliments and admiring their work. That doesn’t make the conversation unique and will just put you in the folder of hundreds of other people that has spoken to that person about the same thing. Instead, what we need to do is to steer the conversation into an area we know we have an expertise in, or actually have something of real value to say. Basically people, no matter who they are, have problems in life in one of the following areas:
- purpose and meaning
So what you are going to do is to clarify to yourself what is your area of expertise; what area do you know you can give some valuable input to, or have other good connections that actually could be of service.
Because you can help people in different ways – you just need to identify these areas, so you then later on can steer the conversation in this direction. For instance, if you’re interested in personal development, like I am, you may have valuable experiences or knowledge which could help the person you’re talking to.
The actual conversation:
Now, when you for instance have meet with a new person in a network situation, you need to go through the basic small talk and get to know the person – and of course there are better and worse ways in how you can do the small talk and create rapport, but some basic tips are;
Do a bit of small talk, get to know the person, try out some jokes, try to make it easy going and funny initially which may come hard to some people but is a great way to create rapport. Look through some of my old videos for more specific tips ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtnB3OmIuoU&index=1&list=PLxw2jMXwRfskUFzqBo2yXOZeyFdYOzZsW&t=125s) .
Secondary start to gently steer the conversation in the direction of your area of expertise – to see if you can find something that you can help the person out with. Try to make it smooth and natural.
So the OBJECTIVES are:
- Clarify what your areas of expertise are
- Meet with new people; Chit-chat; laugh, talk, build rapport with the person you’re talking to
- Inquire; in a subtle gentle way start ask questions – in an area where you can add value – in order to find out what kinds of problem the person you’re talking to may have.
- ADD VALUE
- Try to get yourself to at least on networking event this week; meetup, conference, pub, whatever – as long as you get in a context where you can take the opportunity to talk with new or casual acquaintances to practice the skill of giving value unconditionally
- If you find this networking skill being a bit too far from your social skills level – adapt it to your level! Focus in on helping the people you know, friend’s family in the best way you can!
- I want you to be able to write down at least five things you did this week in order to help someone. Everything counts; it could be a good advice, a contact, sharing a reflection you’ve made, whatever. But I want you to writhe them down along with a brief reflection; how did it feel, what did you do good and is there any way you can do even more next time? Reflecting and adjusting accordingly is when he real growth comes!
So that’s it, turn on the search light, maybe read up on some area of yours to get some inspiration and throw yourself out there, ready to be a helper and connect with people!
Wish you the best of luck,