How do you create a bond with someone you just met? It's easy. Look for common ground. Here's a story to illustrate the concept.
At a marketing association dinner, a man and woman are talking about the event when one person mentions how much traffic there was that day. The two people discover that they live in the same neighborhood, and that they have children who attend the same school. They create a bond when they discover these similarities
Humans are hard-wired to bond. This is a normal process, because bonding is one of life's more rewarding experiences. You may not be aware of bonding while it is happening, but you can tell when bonding doesn't take place because of the uneasiness or tension you feel with this person.
Research shows that we like people who are like us. The old adage of opposites attracting may work for the initial stages of a relationship, but studies show that both business and personal relationships are more successful over the long term when people share similar values, experiences, goals and ideals.
Sharing even superficial qualities such as age group and background can lead to stronger connections. So how do you find out what's on someone's mind, so you can bond with them?
That's simple: listen carefully and pick up on what they say. We get important clues from people when we listen carefully. Chances are, when someone mentions something, it's because that topic is on their mind. This means it's important to them.
By asking about the topics people bring up, you give them a chance to talk about something that concerns them. Then they will start talking openly and you will forge a bond. As a by-product, they are likely to think you are a brilliant conversationalist. You make powerful connections when you show sincerely warmth and interest in a topic your conversation partner brings up.
We all like people who are like us because they feel comfortable and familiar. When people say, I like you, they really mean, I am like you. When you feel similar to someone, you experience warm feelings of rapport.
Creating rapport is really very simple. Listen to people and pick up on what they say. They will feel special because you took the time to listen, and you'll find common ground between you.
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From Lynda Goldman, author of 30 books including How to Make a Million Dollar First Impression.