The next time you are doing your weekend grocery shopping ritual, your yoga class, or dropping your child off at swimming/dance lessons think about this: how often do you actually look a stranger in the eye and spark up a conversation? (If your in the mood, of course.)
So often we walk around each other, not paying attention. We avoid eye contact at all costs; we look down, away, to the side. Is it because we just feel uncomfortable with one another? We’re too busy? We’re not confident in ourselves?
You may surprise yourself. Sometimes that stranger sitting across from you on the bus, or in line somewhere wouldn’t mind speaking with you – they just need you to be the icebreaker.
This is a really good exercise in sharpening your speaking techniques, interviewing skills and performance. Speaking with a stranger allows you to improvise your words, while at the same time gives you that similar rush public speaking does. Only it’s trickier because you actually need to find some kind of common thread to pull on.
So the next time you’re both grabbing for those tomatoes, feel free to comment on how ripe they are, or how great the weather has been. Who knows, you may end up networking your way into an interesting opportunity.