I was called for jury duty this month. As I believe it is my civic duty, I did not try to "get out of it!" I dutifully followed directions, parked where I was told and was herded into a room that was not big enough to comfortably fit the about 500 people that were called with me! After the instructions by the staff, a pep talk from one of the judges, everyone settled in for the long wait. Of course, people being who they are, many conversations started up and people really began talking. We call that connecting - which is the beginning of establishing a relationship.
Sounds easy, right? For some people it certainly appears to be. However, not everyone finds it easy to connect with others. What makes it easier for some but difficult for others. I have found that there are a 3 basic components that can help determine this.
1. Body language
It is sometimes difficult to be mindful of or really aware of one's own body language when we are relaxing or even when we are in a new environment or situation. Practice noticing how you sit, your posture and what you are doing with your hands.
2. Facial expression
Why are you angry? Are you ok? What is your face revealing about your mood? Some people naturally have a relaxed expression on their face, others do not. Purposefully notice the expression on your face. Is it the one you want others to see?
Sometimes we are not interested in actually starting a conversation with someone. However when you are, be sure to keep it simple. Try asking questions that do not require yes or no answers. Be aware that people do not want to hear your life story nor do you want to hear their's. Just keep it general and light.