This may not be a deep revelation to you, but I have discovered that the planet we live on was created for humans. There are people everywhere. Check out the current world population with this link. There must be a reason why there are so many people on the planet.
People will mean different things to you at different stages of your life. As an entrepreneur and an individual with a heart to inspire confidence and motivate action, let me give you five reasons why people are important.
1. They are your family, friends and well wishers.
2. They are your customers, suppliers, investors, employees and employers.
3. They challenge what you know and are comfortable with.
4. They are your source of new connections and contacts.
5. They are the source of your new ideas, new opportunities and new inspiration.
I like this Charlie Jones quote:
“You will be the same person in five years as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read.”
So why do we shy away from meeting new people?
I think it is because it takes us out of our comfort zone. We like and enjoy the safety of the familiar – that is, the safety of the people we know and the things we can control.
There is also the school of thought that there is a limit to the number of friends and acquaintances that humans can have. New technology such as social media is helping us break the barriers and limits of how many people we know and relate with.
So how do you meet new people?
People are everywhere, so meeting new people is not the issue. It’s that they pass by you everyday and you don’t take the steps to connect and move them from passers-by to acquaintances and then friends.
3 things you can do to meet new people and build new relationships.
1. Do not sit alone at the next conference, meeting or event you attend.
For many years, I thought of myself as a shy person and would always sit alone. I would have lunch alone and at the end of the day I would be the first out of the door. I did have a core of friends and family but no new people were entering my circle of friendship and I wasn’t growing as a leader – leadership is a relational skill. That all changed when I made a decision to talk to at least one person I did not know anytime I am in a setting with people.
2. Master the art of small talk.
The question I get asked when I am encouraging clients to make new friends is: “What do I say to that person?”. You can start by talking about the weather or the train delays on the way. But mastering the art of small talk is what will get the conversation moving and make you more interesting to listen to. You can read Edward De Bono’s book “How to have a beautiful mind” for more on having something to say.
3. Do something new like start a new hobby or join a new skills-based club.
When I decided to improve my public speaking skills, I joined Toastmasters and that opened a new world of people to me. I still remain a part of Toastmasters International because of the numerous opportunities it gives me to meet new people, make new friends and get new ideas.
Whatever it is, starting something new or getting serious about your dormant hobby will open up for you opportunities to meet new people.
Why not leave a comment and talk about what you have done to meet new people.