We’ve heard so many times that the best education at events happens in the hallways. But what about at the hotel?
“If you’re like many business travelers, you’re only thought at the end of a day may be to head to your hotel room, watch True Blood and order room service,” wrote Anita Bruzzese for USA Today in the article “On the Job: Road Warriors Can Use Downtime to Network.”
Bruzzese suggests, though, that running up to your room doesn’t help your career. Instead, seek out networking opportunities at hotel happy hours or in the gym.
And when you do decide to chat with someone, Farnam Street offers 10 tips on how to build quick rapport with anyone, courtesy of Robin Dreeke, lead instructor at the FBI’s Counterintelligence Training Center in all behavioral and interpersonal skills training and author of It’s Not All About “Me”.
Set artificial time constraints—“The first step in the process of developing great rapport and having great conversations is letting the other person know that there is an end in sight, and it is really close.”
Accommodate nonverbal body language—“Adding a slight head tilt shows the other person that you have comfort with them and trust them. Another nonverbal to try and maintain is a slightly lower chin angle.”
Slow your speech—“Whenever I have a conversation that I believe is important for me to be credible in my content, I purposely slow down the delivery and take pauses for people to absorb the content of what I have just said.”
Provide assistance—“When the request is simple, of limited duration and non-threatening, we are more inclined to accommodate the request. As human beings, we are biologically conditioned to accommodate requests for assistance.”
Suspend your ego—“Suspending your ego is nothing more complex than putting other individuals’ wants, needs and perceptions of reality ahead of your own.”
Validate others—“True validation coupled with ego suspension means that you have no story to offer, that you are there simply to hear theirs.”
Ask open-ended questions—“Once the individual being targeted in the conversation supplies more words and thoughts, a great conversationalist will utilize the content given and continue to ask open-ended questions about the same content.”
Quid pro quo—“In my experiences, there are really only two types of situations where I have utilized quid pro quo. The first and more common of the instances is when you attempt to converse with someone who is either very introverted, guarded or both. The second instance is when the person you are conversing with suddenly becomes very aware about how much they have been speaking, and they suddenly feel awkward. In both instances, giving a little information about you will help alleviate some of the issues.”
Give a gift—“This is also the easiest technique to utilize, because gifts come in many forms, from non-material compliments to tangible material gifts. Gift giving, or reciprocal altruism, is hardwired in our genetics.”
Manage expectations—“Regardless of the situation, whether it is an altruistic intention or not, there is an agenda. The individuals in life that are able to either mask their agenda or shift the agenda to something altruistic will have great success at building rapport.”