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From Nobody to Being Unforgettable in Under 5 Minutes: 16 Ways to Connect with Anyone

From Nobody to Being Unforgettable in Under 5 Minutes: 16 Ways to Connect with Anyone

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post from Scott Dinsmore of Live Your Legend. Scott Dinsmore is the founder of Live Your Legend and the creator of How to Connect with Anyone – an interactive online course to surround yourself with the world-changing people necessary to build your ideal business or career. The course is open for enrollment to the first 100 students until this Friday at 11:59pm PST. Learn more about the course here.

“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.” – Jane Howard

There is no bigger life hack in the history of the world than the people you choose to hang out with.

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Whether you’re starting a business, leaving a soul-sucking job, trying to run a marathon or shed 45 pounds, it’s all the same.

The fastest way to fill the gap between where you are right now and where you want to be, is with the people in your corner.

Environment is everything  

The question is, what are you doing about it?

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I’ve spent the better part of a decade feeding an obsession for social dynamics, human interactions, rapport and simply making new friends. It’s allowed me to create relationships all over the map – from Warren Buffett helping me pick out my engagement ring, on down to finding the business partners and supporters who caused a dying project to grow by 160x inside of 18 months and turn into the movement that Live Your Legend is today.

The problem is that over 80% of the people around us don’t enjoy their work (According to Deloitte’s recent Shift Index study).

That means most people’s environment is terribly toxic. It reinforces the lives of quiet desperation so many of us so badly want to leave behind. The people around us tell us we can’t make a difference.

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So we absolutely must change our environment.

Over the past few years I’ve taken over a decade of studies & experiments and built them into the framework for our How to Connect with Anyone course.

As it turns out, surrounding yourself with inspiring, passionate people is not as hard as you’d think.

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Here are 16 simple things you can do the second you finish reading this, to allow you to be unforgettable instantly and surround yourself with the community that makes the impossible seem normal.

16 Simple Ways to Connect with Anyone & Be Unforgettable Instantly

  1. Make friends. This is the foundation. Making genuine connections is nothing more than making friends. When you’re about to approach someone, ask, “How would I treat this person if they were my close friend or someone I’d want to be a close friend?” You don’t have hidden agendas and constantly push products and talk about yourself with your friends. You put friends first. You listen to them. You hear their problems so you can help in any way you can. Act accordingly.
  2. Add immediate & real value. Meeting people is about making their lives better. Whether that’s by giving them a smile, a new job, your favorite book, a free logo sketch for their new business or anything in between – there is a way to help everyone. See everyone as a chance to add value. Give like crazy, embrace generosity and make others more successful.
  3. Know what matters to them. Do your research. The more specific your help can be, the better. This comes from learning all you can about the people you want to meet. Not to manipulate, but so you can actually do something meaningful for them. Read their blogs and books, take their courses, sign up for their newsletters, learn about their interests, family, passions and charity work. Anything is game. With today’s online tools, there is no excuse not to learn about someone before trying to interact with them. Rapport become instantaneous.
  4. Find common ground. Everyone has something in common. See it as a fun challenge to find what it is. The faster you can find shared ideas, beliefs and interests, the quicker you can relate. Start with a common school, restaurant, home town or favorite TV show. Continue to go deeper.
  5. Pay attention. The easiest way to be interesting is to be interested. Find excitement in what you can learn from others. Hear what they say. Listen and learn about what matters to them. Not so you can say  something back as soon as possible, but so you can get a window into their world. People want to tell their story. Be the person excited to hear it.
  6. Show your passion. You must be interesting. The best way to do this (aside from listening like crazy) is by embracing your passions, working towards an idea or cause and having a set of beliefs you’re deeply excited about that you openly share with others. Passion is an entire module in How to Connect with Anyone for just this reason. No one likes talking to lemmings. Live and connect with passion. This is the surest way to be someone worth talking to, and everyone is capable of it.
  7. Be uniquely YOU. Don’t try to look and sound like someone else, and don’t hold back! Be vulnerable and open. Share your real story and goals. Tell others about your wife, kids and parenting struggles. Talking about the weather does not build connection. Being real does.
  8. Use the most important word in the world. Remember their names. Nothing feels better than hearing your own name, especially from someone you just met. And “I’m not good with names,” does not fly. No one is good with names unless they practice! Write them down the second you hear them. Repeat it out loud. Associate a fun image or idea with the person. Do whatever it takes to remember. Sadly, this alone puts you on a whole new level.
  9. Be the connector. Bring groups together. Host events. Introduce friends who have similar interests. Make it your job to bring the right people together. There is no more powerful service you can provide.
  10. Lead an interesting life. Live a life worth hearing about – most importantly for you, but for those around you as well. Do things you don’t normally do. Just being in new surroundings will cause you to interact with a new group of people without even trying. The more things you do and try, the more things you’ll have to talk about and the more fun you’ll have!
  11. Tell stories. People connect on energy and emotion, not facts and stats. Communicate with stories as often as possible and encourage others to tell theirs. Know the fun stories of your life and share them with others.
  12. Wear a conversation piece. I’m not saying you wear a pair of swim goggles on your forehead (although that would certainly get attention), but having something that’s visibly and uniquely you, can give people a fun thing to talk about. Like the guy Scott who wears a name tag every day. When people ask why he has his name written on his shirt, he replies “so people ask about it – it makes meeting people super easy.” Maybe for you it’s crazy dress shirts, a bow tie or a fun hat. I always tip with two-dollar bills – one of the easiest ways to make someone’s day. Instant smile.
  13. Be grateful and say thank you. Never miss an opportunity to thank people for even the smallest things, and especially if they helped you with something important. We withhold gratitude far too often. I am constantly sending short texts, emails, books, gifts and notes to people for things they’ve done for me, others or the world in general. Learn unique ways to show thanks. Everyone loves being appreciated.
  14. See friends, not strangers. When you walk into a room, see the new faces not as strangers but as friends you have yet to meet. You see the world in a more similar way to others than you probably realize, especially if you’re at the same event or a part of the same communities. Approach accordingly.
  15. Care about people. None of the above matters if you don’t actually care about the people around you. If you don’t care about the person being a part of your life, you likely won’t do any of this stuff. If we’re going to connect in a powerful way, we must reframe the way we look at people.
  16. Show up (ideally, in the physical world). Connections don’t happen in your house or office. You must get out there, say hello and reach out. This can start with emails and online connecting, but that’s only the very beginning. Nothing makes a more powerful impact than meeting in the flesh. Don’t hide behind technology. Get out of your office and from behind the computer, work from a coffee shop instead of your living room and be in the places where other passionate people hang out.

The people around us control our world.

They can either kill our dreams or make them possible.

That choice is 100 percent on our shoulders.

So, who’s in your corner?

Featured photo credit:a young woman shouting into a megaphone via Shutterstock

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

More Resources About Job Interviews

Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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