I was delighted to read the email below from a former student.
You can tell that English is not her native language, nor is America her native culture. Yet you’ll see she turned a standard business meeting assigned to her into a meaningful connection.
That’s the value of technique: it works even when you wouldn’t know what to do. You can fall back on it. The more you practice and rehearse it, as my class does, the more automatic it becomes.
Then you create opportunities where you never saw them before.
I posted the exercise, called Meaningful Connection, from the course that she used, along with an excerpt from my book, Leadership Step by Step, and videos of me practicing the exercise with my mentor, Marshall Goldsmith.
Dear professor Joshua:
My name is Jingming and I was your student for your leadership class at NYU. I just want you to know that I used the skills you taught during the class and made a really good connection with people.
I was assigned to interview one of my client for the company I am currently interned for. When I got there, I heard he talked about the last interview he did was for Monday Night Football, then I looked around his home, a lot of pictures are about football.
Although I know nothing about it, I kept asking questions about football and he seemed really enjoyed our talk. And the more I asked, the more he shared and finally he told me his father actually was the owner of the New England Patriots!!!! Since I noticed he is really interested in sports. I mentioned I graduated from U Conn and talked about our basketball team. He looked very excited and told he remember that year!!! He even let me wear the first helmet in his collection! And the interview went so well than I thought. After the interview, he even invited me to a Easter supper at Harvard Club!
I am so glad I can use the skills I learned from your class to make such a good connection with people. I just want to say thank you and hope more people can join your class.
I attached the photo of me wearing the first helmet of New England Patriots. Hope you like it!!!
I asked her if I could share her results and clarify which exercise she did. She responded:
I don’t mind at all. If You can share it in you blog it will be mine honor! I just hope more people can learn this skill and help them to improve their social networking.
I combined meaningful connection exercise as well as [the next exercise in the course and book] Making People Feel Understood. I listened very carefully about what he said and tried to find a common dot to link everything and then made him want to talk to me more and share more things with me.
Now it’s your turn to create meaningful connections with billionaires or what’s important in your life. You can develop the skills as much as anyone can.
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