Chapter 14

Seize the Moment

Based on your assessment of the other person’s level of availability combined with your degree of readiness, there is that split second during which you initiate contact. This is that instant when you transition from complete stranger into a potential relationship. It happens when one of you says something to the other. And there is always something to say when you want to connect. The key is choosing a phrase or greeting that will engage and resonate with the other person.

Once you are in close enough proximity to someone to talk—and once you have assessed the other person’s willingness to converse—what you say will depend on a variety of factors. Sometimes you can use scripted opening lines, statements, or questions that will initiate conversation in just about any venue or situation. For example, I think people have been talking to one another about the weather ever since we have been able to utter the words, “Looks like rain on the way” and “Beautiful day, huh?” Although this is okay for starters, it’s rather trite and overused, and it generally doesn’t lead to a productive follow-on conversation. Ideally, you will want to capture the freshness of the moment, commenting or remarking on something that is happening around you both (other than the weather). It is a discovery process from that point on, one where you guide the interaction toward finding out about each other and discovering whether there is a basis for further communication.

The key ...

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