Sames, Woes, & Whoas: Building Relationships

Happy Friday everyone.  During our course, “Can I Tell You Something?” last week we talked about networking and building rapport with others. One tool that we taught was creating sameness.  Namely, if we can find the things that are the same about us and the person we are interacting with, we will likely build rapport.  Sameness can be attire, vocal tone, posture, gesture, speed of speech, volume of speech, shared experience, you name it.  WE also talked about how different people interact, and one way that I’ve seen many women interact (and I’ve done it myself), is the “I love your ______, where did you get it?”. I know.  So basic. So uninspiring.  But I cannot tell you how many relatimages (3)ionships (superficial and deep) have been formed through this very sentence.

Earlier this week, I ran into a friend and we had lunch together, and we started talking about this very same topic.  She, very eloquently said that many people like to connect through “woes”.  Either you are commiserating about the terrible networking event you just went to, or lamenting about how your husband/spouse/spousal equivalent ALSO leaves dishes all over the kitchen.  And as she was so eloquently describing this, my mind wandered a bit, and I started to think about how interesting this friend of mine was, and how I appreciated her ability to talk about these ideas in such a holistic way.  And I started to appreciate what characteristics and traits she had, that I didn’t.  And I just keptimages (2) thinking how amazing that was. WHOA.

And then we had a 2 glasses of wine induced epiphany (okay it was 1.5 glasses, but who’s counting).  The final, and most advanced mechanism for going beyond “sameness” and “woes” in a relationship -was “WHOAS”.  That moment where you recognize the person you are engaging with is not only similar to you in many ways, but also very different. And you say “Whoa. You are incredible”.  And to move even beyond that, you are amazed at this difference and appreciate it. Whoa.

That’s what we said.

3 Steps to Building Relationships

  1. Establish rapport through sameness.  Match postures, gestures, speed, vocal tone, and volume with the person you want to connect with.  Use open ended questions (ones that end in something other than yes or no) to discover things about the person that you may be able to establish a greater degree of sameness.
  2. Some of the sameness established above, may turn into a bit of kvetching about a shared crappy experience. Share and understand each others WOES. This is okay.  Don’t let this become the centre of the conversation, but use it to leap into step 3.
  3. Whoa.  Discover now what is unique and amazing about that person.  The key here is to celebrate it.  There is a gap between your “sames” and your whoas. And that gap and understanding of that gap is where a true relationship flourishes.

I’ll let you take this little piece of genius with you today. Tell us what you find out about yourself and your relationships @whiteboardcons #sameswoeswhoas.


Until next time,