When I used to perform on stage, I used to wonder if I looked good, or if I looked stupid, or if I was doing something out of line. I would always ask my husband for validation as to whether I looked okay or performed great.
He always responded with, “Wendy, you look best when you’re just having fun and when you’re enjoying yourself.” This made me realise that while I was on stage I just needed to enjoy myself more. I needed to be more present in the moment.
Now I take that advice into conversations I have. Just be in the moment and enjoy it. I learned how to actively listen by trying to connect people - not to me and not my business but simply to what I thought could help them.
So my biggest tip is when you’re meeting with someone, listen to what they’re saying. Ask interesting questions that you want to know the answers to and engage with them in a way that will enable assistance. Help them in some way, connect them with someone else or connect them with what you can offer through your business - but never make this the intention.
The intention should always be to find out more about the person in front of you. I never ask people standard questions - I like to ask people about the best thing that happened to them this week. What is their favourite trip that they’ve ever been on? Where is their next trip going to be? Find out how old their kids are, if they have any, and what their life is going to look like in the next five years.
Most importantly, ask them when they have time for themselves - this will lead to opportunities to talk about what we may have that can serve them in this area. Remember, the intent is to learn about the person in front of you, listen to their answers and allow the conversation to guide you in finding out more.