Have you ever wished you had the unique ability to generate compelling conversation with anyone, any time, anywhere?
Maybe networking is required for your job and you hate it, or you're an introvert and are uncomfortable meeting new people, or perhaps you are looking for that special someone and starting a conversation is difficult for you. No matter what the context, if you're reading this now, you're in luck because it just so happens there is a super easy secret formula to help you create rapport rapidly, and if you want to know what it is...read on.
As you may have noticed, social media and the online world seem to be dominating both our lives and our relationships. Just imagine our future if we continue on this path to dehumanizing ourselves. If we don't learn how to effectively communicate and interact with other people now, our communication skills might altogether become extinct.
But before you decide that we might as well just turn into robots already, read on because I’m about to reveal to you a simple technique to create rapport and generate a deep meaningful connection with anyone you meet.
The technique is simple, and if you want it to work you will have to practice. Once you begin using this technique, and if you're doing it correctly, you're going to notice immediately how easily people respond to you more positively.
The technique is a series of 3 questions, incorporating what is called question softeners and the echo technique.
Here are The 3 Magic Questions:
Level one questions: Location/ Occasion
This is your opener. These questions are open-ended non-threatening questions about anything in your environment or what's happening around you. These are not yes or no questions. An example might be if you are at a bar you could ask, “Hey do you know what the drink specials are?“ Or if you are at a wedding you could say “So what do you think of the band?“ These questions are just a way to open a conversation without an overly direct or aggressive approach. Once the other person has opened up without feeling threatened, you can move on to your level two questions.
Level two questions: Career/Passion
Move the conversation into asking the other person what they do for a living and ask them if they love it, and what they love about it. If they don’t love what they do, direct the conversation into asking them “Well, if you could do anything else what would you do?“
When you get someone talking about their passions they generate that feeling of passion within themselves, and because you happen to be what they're looking at, they will unconsciously link that feeling up with you. Be mindful to not make the conversation at any time about you. Let them do most of the talking. You are simply asking them questions and directing the conversation. It's easier than you think because people LOVE to talk about themselves.
Level three questions: Past Pleasant Childhood Experiences
(Disclaimer: Only use level 3 questions with someone you actually want to make a deep lasting connection with, otherwise you may end up with a stalker!)😬
Once you have deepened your rapport by talking about the other person’s passions, you can eloquently begin asking about their past pleasant childhood experiences. You might start by asking, “So where did you grow up?” The idea is to get them talking about what they loved about their childhood. “Who are your friends? Did you play sports? What kinds of games did you like to play as a kid?” The reason these questions are so powerful is that when the person you are speaking with is remembering their experiences, they actually have to go back in time to access that memory, and when they do, they take you with them. This leaves the other person with the feeling they’ve known you for much longer than they actually have.
A couple of things to keep in mind while using the Three Magic Questions-
Include question softeners. What is a question softener? It is a short phrase to put in front of a question so that you don’t come off too harsh or assertive. Examples might be “Hey can I ask you a question?” Or “I am curious…” Or “Just so I understand you better…“
Another technique you will want to incorporate into the Three Magic Questions is what is called the Echo Technique. The Echo Technique is probably the single most powerful rapport-building skill you will ever use, and maybe one of the simplest.
In life, we are taught to paraphrase or repeat back what others say so they feel like we understand what they are trying to articulate. However, this is completely the wrong approach. The right approach is to repeat their keywords and phrases back to them in the exact order and sequence they gave them to you. The reason this technique works so well is that these words have neurological meaning to the other person. They are their personal identity and value words that they relate to the most. When you talk and connect with someone on an identity level, you create an intense emotional response that results in bonding. When you incorporate the Echo Technique into your conversation the other person will feel completely and totally understood by you.
So next time you are looking to create rapport with anyone, or generate a deep and meaningful relationship, try using the Three Magic Questions and incorporate Question Softeners and the Echo Technique because it is the secret formula that works like a charm.