No matter whether you’re trying to get directions from a stranger, a pork chop from the butcher, or a business card at a networking event, it starts with a smile. I suppose technically, it starts with making eye contact, but it’s the smile that opens the door.
What makes someone approachable when you walk into a room? Who do you gravitate toward?
Recently I was playing “Greeter Girl” at my church on a Sunday morning. The “Greeters” hand the weekly bulletin to the church members entering the sanctuary and welcome them to the service. There were two of us handing out bulletins as people came in. I noticed that whichever one of us made eye contact and smiled first was the one they would reach out to for the program. This happened over and over again. It made me realize how important it is to make sure that I smile and let people know that it is safe to talk to me.
We often think that we’re the only ones who are afraid to talk to strangers. We don’t realize that we are the stranger in their eyes.
What can you do to make it safe for people to talk to you?
You can smile!