Actually, this posting is more about how to build relationships than getting dates. The tips that are highlighted can be applied to business relationships as well as advice for the lovelorn.
Matt Homann’s most recent post on the [non]billable hour titled 25 Ways to Win a Client doesn’t list the 25 ways but does list success tips in how to find a date that rings true for building relationships with just about anyone. His post referenced another post from Dumb Little Man and included 8 tips. If we think of our patrons as clients and replace friends and people with clients, the following provides good advice:
- Have a simple goal of making new friends. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Seek to find a great friend and see where things lead.
- Commit to saying “Hi” first. Don’t be shy. Perhaps set a goal of saying hi to 5 people a day. Start with one a day and then work your way up.
- Smile and have fun. Everyone looks better with a smile.
- Be open to meeting new people anywhere and everywhere.
- Always be dressed and groomed to meet new people even if you’re just running out to get milk. You just may meet that someone special in the dairy isle!
- Conversation success tip: Be interested in others and ask lots of questions.
- Don’t be afraid of rejection. You’ve got nothing to lose!! What’s the worst that could happen? Someone will laugh at you? That’s hardly likely. And even if they do, who cares! Just say “Next!” and move on!
- Go slow for safety and success. Never rush into anything. Go slow.
When I started at my first library position, I was fairly shy and not comfortable with meeting new people. At the same time, the job I was expected to do relied on me building relationships. To get myself moving in that direction, I promised myself I would walk into 2-3 lawyer offices a day and introduce myself. My request to them was “tell me about your practice.” Since then, I have done the same no matter where I go. I’ve never been turned down when I ask people to talk about themselves.
If you are like me, it is easier to support lawyers from a distance, then to meet face to face. Yet our future is in building relationships outside of the library if we want to be seen as serious business people. I hope you will start today in following the 8 tips above. You may run into one or two people who don’t have time, but you should be successful if you forget your fears and focus on others. If you need some additional support, try reading Feel the Fear and Do it Anyway. A great book for those of us who are more introverted than extroverted.