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Building a Strong Human Connection in First Time Meetings

Published on Sep 20, 2023

Have you ever walked into a first-time meeting and immediately felt that you were diving headfirst into business discussions?

While the urge to discuss work-related matters is understandable, taking a moment to connect with the human behind the title can make a world of difference. In a world where time is often limited, building genuine connections with those you meet for the first time can seem challenging. However, this initial investment can lead to more fruitful and productive business interactions down the road. Here's how to make those first meetings more effective:

  1. Start with the Human, Not the Title: Before diving into the business agenda, take a few moments to connect with the person across the table. Begin by asking questions that reveal their interests and passions outside of work. Try questions like:
  • "Tell me about what makes you tick outside of work."
  • "What's your life's purpose or mission?"
  • "Tell me about your family."
  • "What are your hobbies?"
  • "What podcasts do you enjoy?"
  1. Find Common Ground: As they share their personal interests, pay attention to areas where you might share common ground. It could be a mutual love for a particular hobby, a shared interest in a podcast, or a similar life mission. These commonalities lay the foundation for a strong connection.
  2. Authenticity Matters: Remember that authenticity goes a long way. Be genuinely interested in the responses you receive. Show empathy and share your own interests and experiences. Building rapport is a two-way street.
  3. Set the Stage for Future Conversations: By starting with these personal questions, you set the stage for future interactions that are not just about business. This opens the door for more meaningful, relaxed conversations in the future.

The beauty of this approach is that it humanizes the business relationship.

It reminds us that behind every title or transaction is a unique individual with their own story, interests, and aspirations. When you connect on a personal level, it not only creates a stronger bond but also enriches your understanding of their perspective.

So, the next time you find yourself in a first-time meeting, whether it’s an interview or a business development meeting, remember that building a human connections is the first step towards effective collaboration. Start with the human, find common ground, and watch as your business interactions become more rewarding and productive. In the end, it's not just about what you achieve but the relationships you nurture along the way.

Author: George Zimny, Co-Founder of ProducifyX

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