I was at Starbucks the other morning and I looked over and saw an attractive man dressed in athletic gear. I knew I had seen him there before so when he smiled, I smiled a flirty smile in return, signaling that I noticed him....again. After grabbing my drink, I walked over and initiated a conversation. He was wearing athletic gear and looked very fit, so I assumed he was an athlete of some sort. That was my "in" to start a conversation, so I walked up and asked, “Where do you train?” He immediately smiled and began talking for 20 minutes straight about himself and all his accomplishments. He mentioned his Olympic medals, his physical prowess as a post 40-year-old athlete, flashed his pearly whites and threw in a few flirtatious lines. Not to say that all of those things weren’t interesting. It was the way he kept talking and not involving me in the conversation, that I knew how much his identity was wrapped up in these accomplishments. He was most interested in me being his audience. I was bored!
If you wish to capture someone’s attention and sell yourself, here are 2 guidelines:
1. Offer a brief, cliff notes version of your personal information and / or opinions.
Mystery is healthy! By keeping your answers brief, it gives room for the other person to wonder about you and activate their curiosity about who you are. Keeping your answers brief will also allow the other person to add in how they relate to what you shared. Wouldn’t you say that’s important so you can further assess whether or not this person is worth more of your time?
2. Ask them questions.
In all the years of guiding both men and women, a common frustration I hear is directed towards how the other person just talked about themselves the entire time on the date. When meeting someone new, work on keeping the balance between talking about yourself and asking questions. It feels really wonderful to have someone want to know more about who you are! Many woman I have coached have shown up ELATED after their first date because the guy asked them questions! A bit of listening mixed with a bit of questioning creates a good beginning!
Suggestion: Go out and practice on your friends, in line at the grocery store or at the dog park! Practice paying attention to how the conversation goes and develop the ability to create a balanced conversation (at least on your side of things.) You can't do much, other than notice, how the other person responds, but you CAN pay attention to what it feels like for you, when talking with someone who only talks about themselves. Pay attention to how it makes you feel when someone shows interest and asks you questions. Practice, practice, practice! First impressions hold a lot of power, so make a good one!
Let me know how it works out for you! Post below.