Standing in the other person’s Flip Flops, is a technique that I use as an integrative approach to interpersonal communications. In our digital world, we have limited ability to develop relationships with our communication partners.
As our world becomes more narcissistic, it is imperative that you view the world from the other person’s perspective. What are you projecting via the first impression? How do you interpret their body language and more importantly, what are you conveying through your various channels of communications to include nonverbal communication. You must enhance your observational abilities to identify common points of interest that can help develop and deepen the relationship.
So often, conversational partners want you to focus on them. If you can stand in their flip-flops and view the world through their eyes and interests, you can make them more comfortable and want to spend time in your company. You can succeed with earning new friends and business associates. As time progresses, you can begin to share your story, but you want the focus of the conversation to remain on your conversational partner. Make them feel important. You might learn a few things but opening your ears and closing your mouth.
I love hearing the insights of others. I was undergoing a routine MRI once. I asked four simple questions. Are you originally from here? How do enjoy living here compared to Buffalo? How long have you been in the MRI business? You must have seen quite a few changes with technology over the years, haven’t you? For twenty minutes, she talked. Not once did she ask me a question. My hair stylist was out of town. The substitute had a study guide for the teacher certification perched on the counter. I asked her about the study guide and followed with some additional questions. As I prodded with the additional questions, I learned about the teacher certification process, her autistic son, her military service, a car accident and her college education. Again, she never asked a single question concerning me. My hair is not too long, so she was very talkative in the short time it took to trim my hair. During my haircut, I learned a few tidbits about life that I did not know previously.
Flip-flops have become synonymous with our culture becoming more casual. So loosen up the tie, kick off the shoes and have some fun. We want those around us to relax and have a good time. Stand in the other persons flip-flops and view life from their point of view.
For more tips on first impressions and developing rapport, take a look at FACE 2 FACE : Observation, Interviewing and Rapport Building Skills: an Ex-Secret Service Agent’s Guide http://www.amazon.com/Face-2-ebook/dp/B009991BII/ref=sr_1_6?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1354630000&sr=1-6