02/06/2015 06:32 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Go Fishing for Closer Conversations

2015-02-05-fishings.jpegI swear, my dear. Sometimes our conversations remind me of a broken sword. She raised an eyebrow. Sharp as hell, he said, but lacking a point, wrote Brandon Sanderson in Warbreaker.

Until you find the lure and the hook on which someone will bite, you won't pull them closer. You are talking to yourself. Soon they may show irritation or worse, or go on a mental vacation. Whether you're attempting to get closer to your spouse, a prospect or critic, this holds true.

"It is all right to hold a conversation but you should let go of it now and then." ~Richard Armour


Go Slow to Go Fast in Growing a Stronger Bond With Others

When you see someone's interest rise in the conversation, you have a glimpse of the hook that can best connect you together. Ask follow-up questions, directly related to what that person just said. If you do just this much, recent research shows you are among the five percent of Americans in conversation. In so doing, you accomplish two things. You've increased their openness and warmth toward you, because you've demonstrated you care. And you've had a closer look at the hook that most matters to them in the conversation. Now you can speak to their hottest interest, in a way that can serve you both.

"Listening is a magnetic and strange thing, a creative force. The friends who listen to us are the ones we move toward. When we are listened to, it creates us, makes us unfold and expand." ~Karl Menninger

Try This Counterintuitive Way To Be Well-Liked

One of the biggest misconceptions about connecting is seeking, first, to be liked. In fact, the counterintuitive way to get someone to like you is in knowing this core truth: If they like the way they feel when around you, they will like you. In fact, they will project onto you the character traits they most like in others, even if you have not yet exhibited them.
Conversely, if they do not like the way they act when around you, they will instinctively blame you for it, regardless of the true reason. They will project onto you some of the qualities they most dislike in others. What's worse, they will go out of their way to prove they are right, even in ways that damage their reputation as well as yours.

"The true spirit of conversation consists in building on another man's observation, not overturning it." ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton


Three-Step Method for Making Stronger Connections

Take the Triangle Talk approach to connecting and reaching agreement with others: You, Me, Us. First refer to their interest, then yours - and then note how your interests coincide. This approach enables diverse people to gain traction sooner toward a common goal. That's the core concept in a book I wrote long ago called Getting What You Want, ironically neither the title nor cover are what I wanted. The book includes mutuality-based negotiation tips.2015-02-05-Gettingn.jpeg

"If you are not willing to follow you are not fit to lead" ~ Vala Afshar