Do you need to build relationships with new people?

As a general rule, people build strong relationships with those they feel comfortable with. Here are 5 things you can do to make it easier for people to feel comfortable with you quicker.

1. Learn… about their priorities, goals, and objectives.  Make the conversation about them not about you.  Find out what they want to talk about and then ask them lots of when, what, and how questions.  Just remember – it’s a conversation not an interrogation!

2. Be … a passenger not the driver. If someone is steering a conversation a certain way, let it go that way.  Even if it is not the right direction, hop on and see where it takes you.  Do not try and pull it back; you will only disrupt the tempo and stop yourself from understanding where the person is heading.  Allowing them to drive allows them to feel in control.

3. Allow … them to continue talking. Don't interrupt. When they have stopped talking take a pause before you do.  When they stop, slowly count to ten before you start.  While it may be frustrating, it does two things.  First, it allows you to collect your thoughts before you start and second, it allows the other person space to continue talking should they wish.

4. Understand … their thoughts and opinions. Make a real effort to do this.  You can start by asking things like: "How did that make you feel?" and "Why did that happen?" These questions not only encourage the other person to talk, but they increase your understanding of the other person’s emotions.

5. Leave … the other person feeling complete. Let the person finish their story and resist the desire to share your own.  A person always feels better when they “get it all off their chest.”  The number one goal should be to leave the other person feeling better for having spoken with you.

As you can see, the primary way to quickly build a relationship with someone is to start with a focus on them and allowing them to talk. If people feel that you listen to them, they will be much willing to interact with you more.

In addition to making the person feel better, listening intently results in you better remembering the details of what is said and understanding the storyteller’s position.  You are able to extract more information that can be used in future conversations to make your message more relevant.

Once you have built the initial relationship, you can turn to achieving the tasks and goals that brought you together in the first place.


Thanks Anthony, I think your article nicely highlights the importance of being a skilled listener. New acquaintances are more likely to open up and share their ideas/goals/aspirations when they are feeling comfortable.

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