You are at a social gathering at a friend’s place – people are dressed for an occasion, large platters of delicate finger food are being passed around, a very nice groove is playing on the sound system and there are lots of interesting people to look at and meet.
Your hostess introduces you to a small group of people you have been itching to get to know all evening (just because they look interesting to you) and now, you have the opportunity to initiate conversation and find out more about them.
Well if it was me, I may begin by extending a compliment, or perhaps I would share something of interest that happened to me recently that I think might be entertaining, or I may mention how the hosts have a knack for throwing a really great party…
…or some other social banter.
And I would certainly ask them about themselves in an attempt to know more about these interesting people that caught my eye…
But I would never, never, never, thrust my business card at them, criticise them or make a comment that would offend or upset them, delve into their personal lives or ask a whole lot of boring questions that would certainly make them want to leave our conversation and move on somewhere else.
My intention here (remember I find these people interesting and want to get to know them) is to befriend them, have some light conversation and see if we have anything in common.
Isn’t that the way friendships start?
It may be news to you, but this is exactly the same way you want to approach anyone in your social networking circles.
After all, don’t you want to present yourself in your best possible light – friendly, warm, entertaining and gracious?
Attributes that will make others want to engage with you and together offer small insights as to the kind of people you are and see what each other has to offer? Remember, the objective here is to engage in conversation (not dominate) in the hope they will come back for more.
I am continually amazed by some of the conversations I see on the various social media platforms, particularly on Twitter.