Tuesday, August 12, 2008


Share this ARTICLE with your colleagues on LinkedIn .

Dear Friends:

Sadly, people seldom open their doors, whether in real space or cyberspace, to strangers. As Human Beings, we have been reared in a culture of defensiveness and fear. Yet, despite this, we must find the appropriate instrument (not necessarily a battering ram or a tear gas grenade) to pry the door open in able to commence a productive dialogue; productive dialogues lead to friendships; and friendships lead to enhanced Relationship Capital, prosperity (through trade), and peace.

Some door-opening techniques are simply outlined below for your consideration. Each of them positively and effectively exploits some aspect of behavioral psychology:

  • Before you communicate, review the prospective recipient's bio, blog or website, so that you can open with a genuine compliment or a relevant question;

  • Initiate your dialogue informationally...do not speak of specific business;

  • Touch upon topics which are universal to all civilized persons, such as: difficult economic times, bringing up healthy children, climatic change, alternative energy, international cooperation and relationships, and the like;

  • Ask for the recipient's opinion or views on these topics;

  • Ask that the recipient review your blog, website or other materials and give his or her opinion on them -- this shows your respect for the other person's intelligence and point of view;

  • In correspondence, try to incorporate pictures of yourself (with family, if possible), and ask if the recipient would do the same -- this personalizes and humanizes the dialogue, and permits the recipient to exercise a bit of ego;

  • Have a productive informational interchange (as described in the preceding points) before you tactfully broach your business or other cause-based proposition.

A ritualistic celebration of "common ground" is so deeply ingrained in the socialization process, that to gracelessly rush into a business proposition would be foolhardy. Additionally, if you honor this ritual, you will be talking about business with a new friend, instead of a stranger.

Again...build bridges instead of fences.



p.s. I could not resist posting the picture in the above right. As silly as its portrayal of the situation is, there is, lamentably, too much truth to the astounding deficiency of reason that instantly overwhelms otherwise rational persons when there is a perceived threat and they are in need of some release of pent-up energy, or in need of a person or group of persons to blame for the problem.


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