Purpose of Engagement/Interaction: What is it?
Often times we do not actually talk to strangers, let alone our own family or friends, unless we need something or have exciting news or a current mutual interest. So how do we network, connect, or open a conversation with a person of interest?
Knowing that people will only entertain a conversation if it interests them, it is paramount to understand the mechanics of engagement in order to have the upper hand or have more sense of control in the outcome of an engagement. It is important to assess/reflect on the following 3 things in any potential engagement or interaction: 1) What is your intent/ what do you expect to get out of the interaction 2) How will you let your intentions be known/ how can you be trusted? 3) What will the other person(s) gain from interacting with you?
Let's examine the importance of reflecting on these question:
1) Your intention/ purpose. This is important to know in order for you to prepare and also for you to identify what you ant to walk away with. Whether it is mere entertainment, interviewing for a job, or an attempt to exchange contact information- know your goals and prepare for them accordingly. Know what questions you want to ask, what you want to mention/contribute to the interaction, and what your next move will be.
2) This is the most alluding for people to understand. In order to maintain any relationship between friends, coworkers, employers, intimate partner, it is important to build trust and an understanding the each other's roles in the relationship/engagement. Making your intentions known. Let others know what purpose/goal for being there is. It won't always be well received, but at least it will start the interaction on a honest note which allows for trust. I often times seem like a jerk but I make my intentions known and so people trust me even if I am a jerk face. Also making intentions know helps people prepare to support you if they want to.
3) Understand and identify what others will get from you during that engagement/interaction. Knowing this will help you leverage information or be of value to others. When you are valuable or make time valuable to others they will do the same in turn for you. It is about mutual benefit. Without mutuality, people willful used or intruded upon and like not accept your company. Imagine going into a sports bar during a big game and wanting to talk about stocks- trust me, your company will not be well received unless you can make others feel they can benefit from you and you are not wasting their time.
Practice reflecting on these three questions when engaging in others and it will help you begin to develop stronger relationships.