We often think of our homes as being the center of hospitality and in many ways they are. But our daily interactions can also be full of hospitality.
Naturally, I am far too egotistic to have this gift, in short...I talk too much and listen too little. However, I am thoroughly convinced that this is a skill worth developing. The gospel and love of Christ can be communicated with much greater effectiveness if we are hospitable.
So to start, I want to share an article with you on small talk. It is not just a waste of time! It is the very thing that can allow us to connect with someone.
So here are the 2 tips for connecting with people I have learned in my former careers:
1- When meeting people you should NEVER say "nice to meet you," or "is this your first time here?" Seriously. What if you have met them and don't remember? Have you ever had someone say this to you that you feel like should remember you?
I use a few lines. At church when I think someone might be a visitor and I want them to feel welcome but not risk mistaking a long-timer for a new-comer I say simply "Hi, I don't think we've met before, I'm...."
In professional or social situations where I am meeting someone for what I think is the first time I use something like "Nice to see you."
2- Last week members of our church went knocking on neighbor's doors to invite them to our grand opening. It brought me back to my days of knocking on doors for campaigns. I was taught a very important skill that goes against nature when speaking to someone who you feel is rushed or not very keen on talking to you.
We tend to rush in order to be considerate about their time, but when you rush, you make the person you are talking to feel more rushed. Always, always, slow down. The slower you speak, the more relaxed you seem, the more they slow down and listen. It's true.
So I know the tricks for making the introduction, now I hope to learn how to get beyond that and make conversation. More importantly for me, to learn to listen instead of talk.
What are some questions that are good to start a conversation when trying to get to know someone? Please post and respond and we'll do another post in the near future!