Today I will be talking and writing about the best way to start a new relationship with someone. Whether you meet one new person a month or ten new people a day, the way you begin a relationship with someone will go a long way towards determining how the relationship will unfold in the future.
In our last newsletter, I said that we will do best to establish relationships based on shared feelings, interests, and experiences. Today I want to look at what you can do starting out when meeting someone new for the first time, regardless of whether you are shy or outgoing.
Please scroll down to the “Musings” section of this newsletter to read what I have to share concerning meeting someone for the first time, and also be sure to have a listen to our podcast.
If you go to the podcast on the site, you can see an outline of the key points of today’s podcast. Some people like to read the outline before listening as it gives them a clearer roadmap to follow.
When you are ready, have a listen to today’s podcast and hopefully it will lead you to feel more at ease when first meeting someone.
And please do join us in our ever-growing, new community on Google +. The details about our community are just below. A lot of interesting conversations going on!
Over time, what I have discovered about myself is that I sometimes have an “agenda” in mind when meeting someone for the first time. I might be looking to brag a bit, and I might be hoping the person I meet would like to somehow further engage with me in the future.
At other times I find that I simply wing it and talk about whatever interests me at the moment. In both instances I am mainly focused on myself and what Iwant out of the relationship, and thus I don’t take the time to really get to know the other person. Not the best way to begin a new relationship!
Most Asian cultures, on the other hand, go about making a new relationship in a very different way. They take great care in discovering who you are and what is important to you. You might know very little about your new Asian counterpart after meeting them for the first time, but in most instances you will feel listened to and appreciated. All of which has led me to think about how I can be better at starting up relationships, and what I can do differently.
I think the more we are open to learning about the other person and simply exploring possibilities the better chance we have of creating a good bond with the other person. Realizing this after many years of being mainly self-centered has been an important learning for me.
Let me share with you now some of the specifics of what I have discovered along the way. When starting a new relationship, you tend to do best when you start out by calming yourself and entering into the relationship with as little concern as possible about how the relationship might possibly benefit you. This might not always be an easy task, but it is important nonetheless.
It is best to begin by creating a context or environment that will tend to make the other person at ease with you, themselves, and the conversation in general. When the other person feels that you are totally there, without distractions and judgments, this lays the foundation for rapport and makes a high quality collaborative relationship all the more likely.
When you really take the time and effort to gain rapport with someone and understand them better, it might just wind up changing some of your opinions, and the way you act. You see, often when you really get to understand another person and their model of the world, it changes your understanding of yourself and your model of the world. So the more open you are to the possibility of changing and learning, the better a new relationship will tend to go.
Do you best to find a common ground with the person you are engaging with. Look to find the similarities between your beliefs and opinions rather than dwelling on the possible differences.
This step might seem trite if you and the other person share many of the same opinions, but obviously along the way we all meet various people who hold opinions that are different than ours. So, focus on finding a common ground more so than looking to point out where you disagree or looking to make your opinion clear to the other person.
Be open to the unknown and don’t look to move too fast. Meaningful relationships develop over time. Trusting each other, learning from each other, and appreciating each other are important dynamics that can’t be rushed.
The more you believe yourself to be a kind, caring, interesting person, the more you will make it likely that the other person will feel the same about you. Trust in yourself and trust in the goodness of the other person. When you do, a collaborative relationship is very likely to follow.
The podcast shares a good deal more about this topic. Please have a listen.