Monday, 18 February 2008

How to develop a relationship

There are different kinds of relationships one can have. This topic is not about boy-girl relationship but in general when we meet a stranger, how one can advance and give a personal touch to the conversation to make it stress free and long remembered.

There are few Do and Don’ts I would like to scribble today, firstly to go with important Dos. Let us take a scenario, where one meets a stranger, a complete new person; it could be either at informal meeting, at friend’s place, a seminar, or even in a Mall!

  1. Before you say Hi, DO smile. Not showing all your dental stature as this was to be the greatest thing happened to you, or you have known the person since long, but do smile enough to contribute the creation of friendly feeling at both sides, without worrying about the subject matter you may have come to discuss.
  2. Shake the hand warmly; let the other person sit before you do.
  3. Familiarize yourself with the surroundings; pick up the interesting spots or things you may use in your conversation later, as if you sitting in a mall, on a coffee table, there might be some lit up promo stands nearby, which you can surely add matter to talk about.
  4. Always try to pronounce your name the other could pronounce and it doesn’t matter if you did not understand what the other person said, as if it is a business meeting, you are most likely to exchange business cards later, or if it is more of a personal meeting, you may end up adding each other contact details in your mobile phones, where you can ask how do the other person spell his name.
  5. If you have a unique name like myself, other person is most likely not to understand in first go, you can reference this as: Oh I know its bit hard, I have loads of trouble people do tend to find this hard to pronounce, its okay you can call me etc etc. My name comes from Persian/Arabic, or any other language, which can be a topic on its own. .
  6. After brief introduction and discussions whish you may have come for, do ask the origin of the other person. For example, you can ask, even if you know where he is from, like what country you from? If that is too obvious than you can ask what part of the country he is from.
  7. You should be able to relate your later conversation to his home country/place, as you can mention the latest exhibition happened in that city you heard of which you can inquire about, or even if you know of any famous place in the city.
  8. You can ask about the weather there, and how the person is getting along where he is now. The word ‘weather’ can be changed with, transport system, banking, Internet service, roads or restaurants at your will and convenience.
  9. If the person comes from unique culture, or has very prominent language such as Farsi, then you can experiment with your foreign linguistic skills, but one has to be careful only to use words with definite known meanings.
  10. Then you can relate/compare your culture/language with others, thus making it more comfortable for other person to talk to you, as he would be more assured that you have the capacity to understand where he or his thoughts might be coming from.

Hopefully, this will prove to be very friendly first meeting of yours, as one is able to create personal touch with the other individual. I would not say this can produce very healthy business relationships, as the common practiced business meeting tactics seems absurd to me. Having a human relationship only for the sake of personal/corporate gain is something I disagree with, and according to the religion it might not very acceptable thing to do as well. You cannot be very nice with someone only because you know you can gain from the person i.e. can get business from. In my opinion that is highly inappropriate.

Coming to Don’ts of the first meeting conversation, I do not have much to write but this does vary a lot according to the circumstances and kind of relationship you are looking to build.

  1. Never talk about the religions. This is one topic which most probably is always unconcluded and the other person would be reluctant to see you next time to get away from getting into such conversation again. .
  2. Do not talk about politics either. There are no winners in political debates, as one party has to lose, which is not a great scenario for first conversation, as it gives the hint of being dominant, which you do not want to do. Make yourself as easy as possible, for others to feel free in expressing themselves.
  3. Even inquiring about the family may not sound very best idea to me, though in second gathering you may well ask if other person does have any kids, and how is the married life better/worse than single. But it is a big no for the first time.
  4. Do not ask other person how he finds you, usually at the end of your meeting. This will all ruin the effort to look easy-going and friendly stance of yours.

Most important thing is to look stress free, no matter how important the conversation you may be entering or the purpose of the meeting, the laid back approach always work for me.

Your comments before/after using these tips are more than welcome. You may also add what you feel is ‘right thing to do’.