A social dynamics expert and podcast host, today’s guest Jordan Harbinger has years of experience coaching clients to navigate interpersonal relationships and build on their connections.
The way we communicate with others on a daily basis contributes over time not just to our personal brand, but the circles of connections we have. Small, thoughtful messages sent daily can completely change the shape of your networks and build relationships with everyone from distant acquaintances to close family — before you even need to rely on them.
In today’s world many of us have learnt to engage solely on social media — think lazily clicking a heart to respond to news from a friend along with hundreds of others rather than picking up the phone to congratulate them — and we are missing out on all the benefits that come with properly nurturing our connections and relationships.
In today’s conversation, we’re going to talk about the best ways to nurture better relationships and ensure you are unforgettable to other people. We’ll give you some practical tips on sending thoughtful messages to others. We’ll leave you with some ideas for re-engaging with your contacts, quickly generating rapport in social situations, and becoming a better listener.
SECRETS TO BEING UNFORGETTABLE
- When you see an influencer online, you’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg—below the surface of their success is years of cultivating relationships, formulating talks and content, using memory techniques, working on their non-verbal communication, persuasion, influence, and networking.
- People know Jordan not just because of his big platform, but because he spent so many years ‘digging the well before he got thirsty’—we don’t think we’ll ever be thirsty, so we reach out to people only when we need something—but it’s best to maintain relationships early on well before we do need something.
- Tie digital distraction to a productive habit—if you find yourself looking at social media, try text re-engagement: scroll to the bottom of your messaging app to find that person you last saw 2 years ago and send them a message to stay in touch.
- For example: “It’s been a long time since we met at ____, what’s new with you?”
- At the end of your message add: “No rush to reply, and no need to reply if you’re busy.” This avoids them not knowing who you are or feeling too embarrassed to reply—if we put people in a weird position the response rate decreases.
- Letting them know they don’t have to reply is important because if we decide someone has an agenda or if we’re not sure what their agenda is, we’re less likely to reply.
- Do this about 5 times a day—not super early in the morning, but around 9-10am and lunchtime when people are awake and checking their phones.
- Texting is better! 100% of text messages are read within 10 minutes—likely because people have each other's phone numbers.
- Rise above the fold: while on social media you can respond to news from other people by clicking the heart along with thousands of other people, or you can rise above the fold and send a personal message via a text, phone call or visit in person—this shows you’re not too lazy to engage and that you want to rise above the fold.
- People will remember this type of engagement in the future.
- Doing this is a way of maintaining a personal connection, building social capital and referral currency in only 10 seconds or so of extra effort a day.
- Keeping in touch can elevate the people around you into a circle of intimacy or closeness when they would usually be at arm’s length.
- Nurture your relationships before you need them!
SEND YOUR SUPPORT
- If you see people online having a tough time—send them a personal message!
- Emotional support is not just valuable when someone wants to celebrate, and it’s not just valuable coming from a family—when you’re going through a tough time emotional support is welcome from anyone.
- People will remember you for your authenticity in these times.
- How to generate rapport quickly in social situations: find another quiet person and ask an authentic question like, “how much do you hate being put in weird random social situations?”
- Telling yourself to “be funny, be charismatic, be fun” is distracting and doesn’t work.
- We’re all thinking the same things at parties—if you can call these things out honestly it will be a huge benefit and people will be appreciative.
- If you’re feeling anxious about a social event, you can put yourself in a right-hand role to help the host, which prevents you from hiding and lets you meet everyone e.g. entertain people while the host is opening wine, refreshing drinks.
- If you have the agenda of helping other people have a good time, it will be appreciated.
- Be authentic at events by speaking honestly e.g. “I get a bit nervous when I come to these types of things”—people will appreciate this and want to engage with you.
- One of the ways you can stand out is to show you care.
HOW TO BECOME A BETTER LISTENER
- Stop thinking about what you’re going to say next and just listen to what the person is telling you and follow the thread.
- Ask feeling-related questions (as opposed to data point questions), then follow the trail and keep digging for more feeling-related questions.
- Start with questions that elicit positive feelings e.g. “What is it you like about your job?”
- Quote from Maya Angelou: "People won’t remember what you say, people won’t remember what you did, but they’ll remember how you made them feel."
- People find us interesting when they feel good about the conversation, and if we can elicit interesting things from them, they’ll find us interesting & unforgettable.