Most people are not listening, but rather trying to be the loudest person in the room.
If you ask questions and listen, you are extremely likely to stand out from the crowd.
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Interested people are interesting. Ask people questions.
Try to learn something you did not know before from your interlocutor.
This is an important distinction and knowing how you function best will help you create the best environment for your social skills to shine.
... or ironic and don't complain all the time.
All of these behaviors are people repellent. We naturally gravitate towards people who are kind, loving, cheerful, and funny, rather than to those who complain all the time.
Ask people to repeat their names. If it's hard, ask them to spell it for you. Repeat after them.
If you forget, ask someone else from the group, "Hey, what was the name of the guy in a red shirt? I forgot." Do whatever you have to do to remember. And then call people by their names. People love that.
Remember the names of people's family members, pets, hobbies, details about the job, a side gig, what are they obsessed with, remember as much as you can.
People appreciate when they realize that you actually listened to them and remembered their story.
Conversations are two-way streets.
However, sometimes it's perfectly fine to say, "Wow, that's really cool." You don't always need to have a follow-up story, or the answer or the opinion. Ask your interlocutor another question. Nod your head. Be silent.
The truest power of networking lies in following up. That is how relationships are built.
Try to come up with the recommendation during the conversation and then promise to follow up with the link/recipe/code/useful person's contact, etc. And do it. This will show that you are caring, diligent, consistent, and reliable.
Nobody wants to chat only with you for hours.
Have a nice conversation and move on.
Love people, respect people, admire people, be interested in what people are going through, compliment people, see the best in people, forgive people, don't judge people, help people, shower people with your love.
...you can develop are listening and asking questions.
These 2 skills will impress your clients even more than your best business statistics.
Wearing headphones says, “Please don’t talk to me, I don’t want to be bothered.” This is great when you don’t want your coworkers to interrupt you, but it’s terrible when you want to connect with people.
Putting away the headphones (or taking out the AirPods) opens you up to more social interactions. Plus, you’ll notice new sonic details such as the song of a particular bird or the hum of different passing vehicles. Your experience of the world will be richer overall.