You know that excitement when you do something you're good at?
For me it used to be breakdancing.
Yeah, that's right. Don't judge.
Today, I want to give you that same excitement with conversations.
And all you need is a simple framework.
It's been shown to work as fast as 9 minutes (click to read the study if you're a nerd like me), and you can use it to connect with people and make friends.
Like I said, it's simple but most people don't do it.
What is it?
DEEPEN YOUR CONVERSATIONS.
Yup that's it. And it's really simple to do.
All that means is asking (and answering) a series of questions that get increasingly more personal.
Check out this fancy diagram I made.
Over time, as two people share more personal information, they build a connection. The typical progression goes like this:
1. CLICHES→ 2. FACTS → 3. OPINIONS → 4. FEELINGS
It's powerful stuff though.
Several studies (again, only click if you like nerdy papers) have shown that deepening conversations actually makes you more likeable and helps you make friends.
But most people tend to keep their conversations on the same level. They get stuck at cliches and facts. Like talking about the weather. Or the news. Or whatever they're comfortable with.
By doing this, they're basically just hoping to make friends. And they leave it in the hands "fate" or chalk it up to other things like chemistry or similar interests.
But the truth is… if you're not actively deepening your conversations, you're not making friends.
OK MAKES SENSE. NOW HOW DO I DO IT?
The key is really focusing on the transition from facts to opinions & feelings.
Focus on moving from WHAT to WHY.
And you do this by getting really good at asking questions.
Most people ask generic questions like "how are you?" or "what do you do?" and then they get a generic response. Specific questions will get more specific answers and move you away from cliches and facts into the deeper stuff. This helps open up even reserved people because they see that you actually care.
So let me break it down...
Start by instead of asking the generic "how are you?" ask something just a little more specific like, "How's your day going so far?"
From there, continue asking specific questions to really understand their day.
- What's going well? What isn't?
- Doing anything fun?
- Any plans for tonight?
From there the conversation can go into a whole range of topics, I find people end up talking a lot about their jobs or their families.
In any case, continue asking questions that really draw on their opinions and feelings
- What's that like? It must be so exciting
- What's your favorite spot to eat around here?
- Do you enjoy that?
- Are you attracted to me? *wink* (just kidding, don't do this!!!)
Uncover those emotions and then connect with them. That's how you make friends :)
P.S. - To learn more, check out my FREE video course on Small Talk
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