There is no faster, more effective way to fill the gap between where you are and where you aspire to be than having the right passionate and supportive people in your corner. There is no bigger life hack.
Environment is everything. And it’s 100 per cent in our control.
Over the past 10 or so years of studying social dynamics, human interaction and personal rapport (and being obsessed with making new friends), I’ve made some discoveries that have lead to near-instant memorable interactions with folks like Warren Buffett and Tony Robbins, all the way down to the interesting girl at the bar or the stranger on the street.
No matter the status of the person you’re trying to connect with, the approach is exactly the same. As it turns out, it’s a lot simpler than you’d think.
Often the biggest reason people fear reaching out and connecting is that they don’t have a clue what to say or think they’ll look like an idiot.
Let’s change that.
If you know what to do to create a quick positive human connection, you’re going to do it much more often. With knowledge comes confidence. With confidence comes connection.
So here’s how to make a genuine connection with anyone within minutes of meeting them:
1. Exchange passion
Connection starts long before the first interaction. Be the guy glowing with passion. Let the people around you feel your fire for the dent you want to put in the world. Prompt others to share what makes them come alive. Share in their excitement.
No one forgets a passionate, genuine supporter.
2. Be happy
Start with a smile. This is by far the fastest way in the world to create a bond. The right grin beams with confidence, creating immediate respect and interest. Smiles are contagious, and the simple change in physiology they cause makes people feel better.
There is no stronger opener than a smile. And, sadly, it’s still uncommon enough to make you stand out.
3. Say thank you
Find a reason to thank everyone you meet. Be sincere. Share genuine appreciation for their work, no matter how big or small. If the person on the other side explains something in an interesting way or has an exciting energy about them, recognise it. From the mailman to the bestselling author signing books at your local shop, make gratitude a habit.
If the person is well-known, there’s no excuse for not doing at least enough Googling to have a list of meaningful ways to thank and congratulate them, as well as common threads between your story and theirs. Common ground is the foundation of rapport. And a genuine compliment is a pretty easy place to start.
4. Tip with $2s
Anything even slightly different will do. Every few months, I pick up a couple hundred dollars in two-dollar bills from the bank. Perfect for tipping, paying people back and making change. It’s the fastest way I’ve found to create surprise and a smile.
Most people think two-dollar bills aren’t around anymore, so when they get one, they thank me like crazy, ask how I got it and talk about how they’re never going to spend it because it’s so lucky. Little do they know you can order them at every bank…
5. Obey the 3-second rule
This happens to be the most powerful pickup tool a guy or girl could have. If you see someone interesting or whom you’ve been dying to meet, give yourself three seconds to walk up and start a conversation. If you wait any longer, you’ll either over-think it and screw it up or over-think it and never say anything at all.
Stop worrying about what to say. Anything is better than nothing. Once you speak a word to someone, you’re immediately elevated out of the sea of thousands of onlookers to the few who actually sack up and say something. And that is the biggest first step.
Get in the habit of making people’s days.
These are all simple ways to have a positive impact on the people around you. There are a million others. If you’re not connecting to help, then stop trying. People will see right through you.
When thinking about approaching someone, just ask yourself, “What could I do to make this person’s day even slightly better?” Those whose days you make will go on to do the same for others. These ripples start to intersect, and that’s when the world starts to change.
And it can all start with something as simple as a smile.
So show up. Be helpful. The world will start to pay attention.
Brazen Life is a lifestyle and career blog for ambitious young professionals. Hosted by Brazen Careerist, we offer edgy and fun ideas for navigating the changing world of work — this isn’t your parents’ career-advice blog. Be Brazen.
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