Simple Game to Practice Connecting

puzzle Some folks are just introverted, others are uncomfortable initiating connections and some feel   funny being looked at in meetings or presentations.

Here is a fun, easy exercise that helps my clients become more comfortable and better connect with others.  It is a game I call ‘how many smiles can I get”.  How does it work?  Establish a goal for a period of time: the next hour or throughout the day. Start small: In the next hour, I want to make 10 people smile. How do you make people smile? Simply make eye contact, establishing the connection and smile at them. And you will likely get a smile back.

You can do this anywhere, at Starbucks, at the office, at the grocery store or your place of worship. Continue to set goals for yourself each day and raise the bar. If you know you will be someplace with a lot of people, set a big goal.

I had one client who was in the prime place to play this game as she worked at the front desk of a large construction company.  She just loved this game and kept a daily tab at her desk as she greeted people who came into the office.

What you will discover is that you become more comfortable initiating connections with others whether known to you or total strangers. You will also find that you become more comfortable being looked at which will reduce the discomfort some people feel being seen and the center of attention in a presentation. An added bonus: you will also find it gives you a more cheerful disposition when you smile at others and get those smiles back.

Use this technique in your next interview.  Make eye contact and smile at the panel making a meaningful connection before and during your presentation.  It will assist you in making your message have greater impact.  It will also make you more memorable.