I just realized that I’ve approached every interaction in my life the wrong way.
For as long as I can remember my goal in any interaction was to get the other person to like me.
In high school this technique helped me fit in with the preppy clique. In college, it got me into my fraternity. And in corporate America, it’s helped me rise in sales.
However, I see now that this approach has a ceiling. My connection with someone can only go so deep when my main goal is to get that person to like me.
For years, if I met someone at a party, a networking event or at work, I would hold back the real me in order to avoid a bad first impression and to be likable.
While this is surely the safe approach, it prevents any genuine connection from being formed.
Think about it: if your goal in an interaction is to get the other person to like you, then what do you think their goal is? Exactly! Both people end up playing this anxious game of mind-checkers in which the goal is to come out “liked.”
The result? This excessive focus on self ends in a forgettable connection with two self-conscious people. It’s horrible!
So instead of playing this painful game, I’ve learned that we must flip the game in our mind.
Rather than focusing all of our attention on ourselves in a conversation, we must center our attention on the other person. Our aim should be to delight the other person by offering our authenticity and enthusiasm.
By doing this, we not only bring out the best version of ourselves but also encourage the other person to do the same. And this is where the magic happens.
No longer are we dealing with petty conversation that only skims the surface of who we are, but rather digging a level deeper where true connections are formed.
In my short time of doing this I’ve already witnessed amazing results. For one, I’ve noticed that I’ve been able to build strong connections with people in a matter of minutes rather than months.
But also, I’ve found that I no longer fear encounters with acquaintances or introductions to strangers. Since my focus lies on making our interaction the best moment of their day, I no longer worry about what they think of me.
My previous self-imposed anxiety is replaced by authenticity, confidence and curiosity.
And when you lead the conversation in this way, you’ll be surprised at how quickly the other person will follow suit to meet you halfway.
The key is to be the one who goes first. You need to be the catalyst for these magic moments. The power is in your hands.
I picked up this technique, in a recent addition of The Tim Ferriss Show, from hedge fund manager and thought leader Adam Robinson. In Adam’s eyes bringing enthusiasm to every moment is the key to success in life.
He claims that by aiming to delight the other person you gain infinite power in the relationship because you want nothing and are offering everything.
In this game you can’t lose.
The next conversation you have with someone I dare you to approach it with this mentality.
Be the one who brings the authenticity. Be the one who brings the enthusiasm. Be the one who expects the magic.
I promise, your life will begin to change.