O'Reilly logo

Talk to Strangers: How Everyday, Random Encounters Can Expand Your Business, Career, Income, and Life by David Topus

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

Chapter 12

Avoid Judging People From a Distance

We tend to evaluate others based on surface assessments of how they look, how they’re dressed, or what they’re doing. It’s human nature to make up stories about people based on what truly amounts to superficial data. And because it is superficial, the formulas we use don’t always hold up. We think to ourselves: That person doesn’t look friendly because she’s frowning instead of smiling. This person doesn’t look like he’s influential because he’s wearing cutoffs and has a few days’ growth on his face. Or that person probably isn’t worth meeting because she just got out of an older model car.

Have you ever read The Millionaire Next Door? Thomas J. Stanley and William D. Danko’s book lets us in on an important fact: most millionaires drive old cars. And most have never spent more than a few hundred dollars on a suit. And oh, by the way, some of the most successful entrepreneurs don’t even bother to shave every day.

No doubt, we as random connectors are seeking those who represent the greatest potential for having a mutually beneficial relationship. But just as a priceless piece of sterling silver may not appear so on the surface, a hugely valuable connection may be waiting for you at the bus stop, in the coach section of the airplane, or in the share-a-taxi line at the hotel. So although your preliminary assessment of another person may be right, it may also be wrong. And making the wrong call about a potential connection could be costly. ...

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required