Many years ago, I attended a Dale Carnegie orientation session and picked up the single most useful networking tool I’ve ever run across – and have been using it ever since. It’s called the “Conversation Stack”.
Here’s how it goes:
In your mind’s eye, picture and repeat several times to memorize, the following:
a nameplate, 3 feet tall, 20 feet long, brass nameplate
affixed to the front door of a house
in the house you see a family: mother, father and two children peering out at you
balanced on top of the house is a factory
flying out the smokestack of the factory is a 747
falling out the back door of the 747 are hundreds of tennis racquets, baseball bats, books, etc …..
stuck in the webbing of one of the tennis racquets is a red flashing light
Each of these items represents a conversation item:
- Leisure activities
- Bright idea!
Attach to each conversation item, open-ended questions starting with “who, what, when, where, why and how”.
When you meet someone new, start at the bottom of the conversation stack and work your way through each of the items in the stack, asking up to six open-ended questions per item …….. and you will never run out of things to converse about …….
I have tested this around the world in numerous countries and cultures – it always works!
Good luck putting it to use for yourself!