How To Be More Outgoing (Even In The Face Of Technology)

These days everyone is either glued to their iPod, busy on their phones or buried away on their kindles. Sadly, this current obsession with technology is causing more and more people to shy away from real life conversation!

This has led people to think that technology gets in the way of being more outgoing. But does it really have to get in the way? The limiting belief that computers, cell phones or MP3 players get in the way of conversations is not only wrong but it’s a crippling belief and one that’s sure to set you back from being outgoing.

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Being outgoing is a skill that needs constant practise. Being outgoing takes effort and it’s easy to be deterred when you see someone fiddling on their phone or tapping on a laptop. We imagine that we’re disturbing them from something important but it’s usually not the case.

Most people are waiting around, bored or trying to decompress after a day’s work. So in this episode, we’re going to challenge this limiting belief. We’re attempting to be outgoing at a train station and see how easy it is to ‘interrupt’ people.

Let’s focus on how to be more outgoing even in the face of distracting technology.

Be More Outgoing Challenge #1: MP3 & Headphones

When approaching someone with headphones in, an initial question may seem like we’ve gotten their full attention but this is only PROXEMICS. By being close enough to them, we momentarily get their attention. This is a great opportunity to be more outgoing. Ask questions, be enthusiastic and if they do have to leave (to catch a train!) end the conversation at the appropriate time. A good way to do this is to wish the other person a pleasant day- whilst smiling of course!

Be More Outgoing Challenge #2: Tablet/Laptop

Remember to have a genuine reason to talk to someone. Curiosity takes the edge off starting conversations. If you want to be more outgoing then be curious about the world and everyone in it. People are very good at picking up on inauthenticity, so if you are coming into the conversation with a genuine vibe, people will feel more relaxed in your company as you help create TRUST. If someone is sitting down is on their tablet/laptop then lower your own posture to his or her level. This makes it more comfortable for you and less intimidating for the person you’re conversing with. Another outgoing habit is to introduce yourself. This invites the other person to do the same and exchanging names at the start or end of a conversation creates great rapport. With this in mind, it’s well worth making big efforts to remember people’s names!

 Be More Outgoing Challenge #3: Cellphone

A lot of people use their devices out of habit and boredom. Charisma helps elicit emotions in others, so this is a chance to turn someone’s boredom into laughter. Being more outgoing means you’re actively engaging someone, whether by exchanging jokes or asking questions, you need to invite them into a dialogue. Being outgoing doesn’t mean hogging the whole conversation. Listen to what they have to say for hooks. Good speakers are people who know how to listen. This extends to listening to their bodies. If someone has their legs crossed (standing), then they’re not preparing to move. They’re not going anywhere which means they’re invested in the conversation.

Face-to-Facebook…

Technology isn’t a barrier. Be more outgoing, talk to people even if they’re seemingly busy on their devices. Surprise yourself by testing out your assumptions about how people don’t like to be ‘interrupted’ and you’ll discover that they’re more receptive than you think. However, if you’re determined to keep your laptop close at hand, stay tuned for the next episode of The Vault, where I’ll break down the nuances of what exactly charisma is…on live television!

Further Reading

“Alone Together” by Sherry Turkle

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