I am a hopeless romantic. I love movies like Serendipity where two people meet and “re-meet” each other because of a series of chance encounters or click moments.
I personally keep my eyes wide open for these moments and have a secret delight when I’m in the middle of the experience. To me, they seem like a divine gift, since there’s no way I could have orchestrated the meeting myself.
The thing is, in the moment, I have no idea how the relationship will unfold for the long-haul. I have inklings of potential opportunities, but you never know.
So, I’ve learned to start seeing every new introduction as a potential opportunity. Here are a few things I’m learning:
Be Friendly and Engaging – So many of us are just content to check-out on our devices on social media or catch up with emails for work during any free moment. It takes more effort to push through those distractions, but it’s worth it to strike up conversation instead – in line at the coffee-shop, on public transportation, on a hike, or on a plane. It would be a tragedy if your next best friend, awesome client or business partner was sitting next to you and you never met them.
Value Resonance – We don’t naturally connect with every single person we meet, and that’s normal. But when conversation is easy, when I can sense shared values and alignment, I try to lean in longer. It usually happens because of shared interests and an apparent effort to offer ideas, introductions or resources into each other’s lives.
We met a very successful young entrepreneur just recently on our flight back to Denver, and he shared that in his interviews, he looks for people who “add energy” vs. “take energy.” Don and I can more easily spot “energy takers” now in our older years, and we really seek to align with “energy givers” as that is what we try to be in any situation ourselves.
Get Contact Info and Follow-Up – Unlike the movie Serendipity, I don’t want to bet my future contact with this new connection on a piece of paper that may blow away in the wind or trust that maybe one day, we’ll just cross paths again. No, it’s important to share email or social media info and then make an immediate effort to follow-up. If it’s personal, make an invitation for a coffee date or work-out. If it’s business, find ways to add value and try to meet again.
I believe that life is a mixture of “luck” and effort, and meeting new people is a beautiful intersection of both. What potential opportunities will we get to experience today if we expect them and keep our eyes wide open for them? Would love to hear about yours!