Obi-Wan Kenobi said, “The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It’s an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together.”
Your network is what gives you YOUR power. It’s an energy field created by all the people you know and who they know. It helps you get jobs, contacts, and ultimately money. It binds your world together.
Yet, so many people are resistant to “The Force” of networking. Many times, I hear it’s because people don’t think that they’re interesting enough, that they don’t know what to say. Here are some tips on how to be a more interesting conversationalist, and you’re going to like them because I’m tying them into personal experiences that you may relate to:
Example one: Star Wars. This movie came out in 1977, and at the time, the special effects were groundbreaking. I was 8 years old when Star Wars hit the big screen, and I made my dad take me to see it eleven weekends in a row. I was madly in love with Luke Skywalker and wanted my own R2D2. My dad said that he lived in a galaxy far far away. I decided to made my own by covering some milk cartons and socks with tin foil. I shaped him and then glued on all of the necessary buttons and panels, which I cut out of blue colored paper.
How does this make me an interesting conversationalist?
- If the person I’m talking to is a Star Wars fan, I just earned some serious credibility and started a great conversation about their Star Wars experience.
- If the person is not a Star Wars fan, I would ask if he had a movie that had a strong impact on his life.
- If the person doesn’t go to the movies (which I’ve never encountered) I go to the next example.
Example 2: ER debuted in 1994, and it changed the way I watched television forever. Up until then, I’d watched St. Elsewhere and Trapper John, M.D. I remember the scene from ER (though I mentally blocked out the characters) between an old couple, maybe late 80’s or 90’s and one of them was dying while the other sat and talked in a comforting way. Luckily, the young, handsome ER doctor came in to save the day… only for the first time in my television experience, the doctor did not save the day. The patient died. I cried for hours, boycotted ER for a while, and never trusted TV again. Since that scene, I’ve watched patients die, criminals get off because of a loop hole, and the worst; my favorite series regulars be killed off!
When I bring this up in conversation, Dennis Franz, exposing his butt on NYPD Blue is another show people bring up as changing television forever. If I ask my parents, they will point to Archie Bunker.
Now, I happen to be passionate about television and movies which is why I bring them up in conversation. Most people respond with their own experiences.
Did you notice, that I didn’t bring up “work” or what I do in these stories?
Once you’ve captured someone’s interest, the relationship has started. Now, you exchange contact information and nurture your relationship.
Networking doesn’t have to feel yucky, it can feel completely authentic when you focus on broad topics that are interesting to you and other people.
- Come up with 3 stories that will create interest around you and allow you to start a relationship with a new contact.
- If you want to take networking to the next step, learn how to tell stories with a structure that reveals your work ethic, talent, and skills, without asking for work in my Triple Your Contacts Home Study Program. This could be one of the most important investments you make for your career.
The Force is strong within you. Will you accept your mission?