Monday, November 12, 2007

How to be TOO approachable

Yes, it IS possible to be TOO approachable.

Here's how...

1. Over actively listen. If you nod TOO much, smile TOO much and agree TOO much, your conversation partner is going not going to like you … TOO much!

Avoid focusing ALL your attention on “coming off as a good listener.” Just relax.

The moment you TRY to be authentic is the moment you STOP being authentic.

Listening is about focusing on the OTHER person’s words; not YOUR own abilities.

2. Early vulnerability. Yes, vulnerability can be approachable. Admitting that you don’t know the answer or have been completely terrified before is a surefire way to encourage comfort.

HOWEVER: don’t be too vulnerable too quickly.

It may come off like you’re trying TOO hard to build rapport. And intentionality often reduces authenticity.

3. Ask too many questions. First of all, it can come off as too goal-oriented, too forced and too planned.

Secondly, it projects a rapport-seeking attitude, instead of rapport-attracting attitude.

Thirdly, it will appear that you have nothing of value to share yourself.

And lastly, asking too many questions makes the other person feel like she’s being interviewed or interrogated.

4. Force the kinesthetic. Lightly touching someone’s arm, elbow or any other non-threatening body part during the conversation is a good tip for building rapport.

Just don’t do it TOO much. People will check you off immediately.

5. Use names too often. If you repeat the person’s name TOO often, it comes off as sales-y, forced and inauthentic.

Depending on the length of your conversation, try to use the other person’s name once at the introduction, once in the middle and once at the goodbye. That’s enough!

Just because you CAN doesn’t mean you SHOULD.

NOTE: if you talk for more than seven minutes, it’s OK to
increase Name Drop Frequency.

6. Forced familiarity. Discovering the CPI (Common Point of Interest) is essential for connecting.

But, don’t try TOO hard. Unnecessarily fishing for commonalities can make you look desperate if you’re trying to hard to stretch it.

If you have nothing in common, let it go. Don’t force familiarity.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What makes someone TOO approachable?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your examples here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag

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