First, wow, you guys got me all charged up with your overwhelming responses to the last social challenge of playfully giving someone a task. Great job. And if you still haven’t done it (or know about it) it’s never too late. I ended up telling a cashier at The Market in the Twitter building that she should buy me a latte from the cafe to warm me up as I waited for their faulty credit card reader to work, it was fun, we laughed, it made my day. Speaking of making days...
Small conscious additions in your interactions with people can make a world of difference. The best place to start is by simply remembering that you have choices in your conversations, as opposed to passively hoping you say something worthwhile. As you practice more and more, and learn different types of techniques within your communication, you start developing an arsenal of what we call charisma. Remember the 7 skills that we always talk about?
1. Body Language
3. Conversational agility
4. Play (Humor)
7. Status/Belief System (Confidence)
Ok, you guys wanted more challenges so try this:
Celebrate the approach: So if you have taken some Jaunty training you already have an infinite amount of ways to approach people and initiate a conversation with anyone. This here though, is the opposite. If anyone, anytime initiates a conversation with you (barring a non-safe environment) I want you to “light up” a little extra in the moment. Here is an example:
A fellow WeWork colleague of mine came to my office all the way from the 7th floor (my office is on the 4th floor) to let me know about an interesting event happening up on the 7th. As he said hello and started talking about what was happening on the 7th floor I really engulfed myself in the idea that he came all the way to tell me about this little event that he thought I’d like and it made my day. Unfortunately I was unable to attend, but I made sure to be super happy that he made this approach/invite. I even said, “thanks for thinking of me, you’re rock!”
Your challenge is to add that extra, “you know what, you just made my day,” in your body language or words to another person who initiates an interaction with you. It can be a stronger than usual smile, or widening of the eyes, or a statement.
Give people credit for investing in you. The main way of doing this is to simply continue the conversation with positive body language and engaging conversation. That will be more than enough to let the other person know you were happy they said hello. You can also let them know.
Here are some idea statements:
"You just made my day (week)!”"You just made my day, though!” (if you have to say no)
"Thanks for getting me away from my screen.”
"You’re the best.”
"That’s awesome, will you tell me how it went on Monday?”
Or just simply be a little more excited than usual to be talking with them, this can mean facial expressions and a clearer happier vocal tonality.
Approaches are hard, go reward and enjoy them. There is not enough of that in San Francisco and many more places. It means someone found you valuable in some way, so celebrate it. Let me know how it goes by replying back to this,
Hey everyone! It's a new year so how about a social challenge to kickstart it? Can't wait to hear your stories.
Firstly, a thank you to the 15 people who opened up to me this holiday season about how the holidays are depressing them and other social anxiety issues, many people feel social tension or loneliness throughout the year and it can deepen around the holidays and the new year. You’re not alone.
Thanks for really believing that social skills are learnable. This Jaunty journey is teaching me that no matter what personality type someone may have, our communication skills can always be enhanced and worked on.I know it’s hard to go against the voices that say, “That’s just how you are and there’s nothing you can do about it.” But it’s possible to live the social life you want. I promise. I get messages all the time from our students who have turned their lifestyle goals into a reality.
Also, our January course is beyond filled! I think I’m going to have to find a bigger space for our courses, I can’t wait for this next one, so thank you.
Finally- It's the start of a new year! So I've got a two day challenge for you.
Now, this is a social challenge for you.
In the next 48 hours (from the second you read this) I’d like you to give someone a playful situational task. Extra points if it’s a stranger. This embeds playfulness in your conversation.
Here’s an example: I was recently on a plane traveling solo and as everyone was getting settled in our seat row I was preparing my music. I said to the women beside me, “This is the first time I’m using noise cancelling headphones, so you’re in charge of making sure I don’t miss any important announcements OK?” She laughed and said she’ll probably be sleeping through all announcements since she just drank a martini.
This task will sure you are more aware of your environment, and may get you used to creating things to say that’s relevant to the moment.
Other ideas:“Make sure Katy doesn’t eat all the free mints, she likes them more than I do!” (to your front desk associates)
“Keep your eye on me and don’t let me get two desserts, k?” (At the company party)
“I might need some help deciding what looks good, you up for the challenge?” (While waiting at the Nordstrom changing rooms)
You get the idea...can you do it? Try to throw these playful quips in somewhere. They are great ways to start a conversation too. You can also turn these into playful questions (this falls under using accusations for humor):
“So you’re the one in charge of making sure no one eats ALL the free mints huh?”
If you think you can do it, you’ve got 48 hours.