Let’s say you want to start growing a relationship with someone new. This person is more advanced in several ways, and so there’s some intimidation there! (Hey, I think we’ve all been there). So the small voice in your head may be saying, “What in the world can I do to make this person want to partner with me?”
Well, our needs change as we move through different seasons, and make new goals. So you may not be able to relate exactly to the things a new friend is going through. His challenges may be totally foreign to you. And, his mindset, background, or skill set may be on another level. But certain things never go out of style, and certain actions can lift up even the most accomplished professionals in their personal, emotional, and spiritual space. By the way, these tips can help you strengthen your bonds of friends, co-workers, and family, too!
- Be a Good Listener- There are two reasons for this. One is that your new friend may be under attack from new challenges, or stressed by the people and situations that make up his daily life. Someone who is a good listener may be a breath of fresh air! The other reason is that listening well shows that you are coachable. If you want to learn from this person and expect him to share his precious time with you, he is already checking you out to see whether the investment of his time will be a wise one. Will you be the sort of person who gives him a good return on his investment by paying attention and receiving what he says?
- Give the Gift of Encouragement- When people are up, or when they’re down, encouragement is always the answer. It doesn’t need to be a cheesy, generic, “You can do it!” kind of message, either. Encouragement can be as silent as just being there nodding your head, and as subtle as restating what you’re hearing in a positive way. For example, “it sounds like you’re really enjoying this project you’re talking about!” or “it sounds like you’re really in your sweet spot doing that.” These are just statements that beam back good energy to your new friend. It affirms for him that other people are seeing him as effective and good, which is a deep concern for all of us.
- Make it Personal- Some people have a “warmer” personality than others. If your friend is a little more guarded and takes longer to warm up, you can start by just referencing their work and recreation stuff. Pass along useful news or thoughtful ideas relating to his projects, hobbies, jobs, etc. As you get to know him, learn the names of his children or other family, his ambitions and goals, and other things that matter to him. Call those things by name and show that you noticed what was important to him. Affirm that he is living in alignment with what he values, and making a difference!
So, I hope these tips come in handy and help you tame even the scariest of new acquaintances! If all else fails, just be yourself: let your genuine caring and good intentions shine through, and you will do fine. Let me know how it goes, and as always, here’s to your GREATNESS!