Building Genuine Connections through Meaningful Conversations, with Debra Fine

Episode 385

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On this episode of Destination on the Left, I talk with Debra about making successful small talk and creating authentic connections. She shares examples of what to say to start a conversation, what the serious conversation killers are, and tactical ways to exit a conversation gracefully. If you’ve ever wondered how to set yourself up for success when attending networking events, then you’ll love this episode.

What You Will Learn in This Episode:

  • Debra emphasizes the importance of showing genuine interest in others and connecting with people through conversation
  • Why seeking commonalities with others is crucial for meaningful conversations and networking
  • What free information is and how it plays a key role in initiating engaging conversations
  • How to open up conversations and respond to questions about work
  • Why gracefully exiting a conversation is important and how to do it with finesse
  • How to cultivate genuine connections with people through open-ended questions and avoiding drilling for personal information

Building Genuine Interest and Connecting with People

Debra emphasizes the importance of showing genuine interest in others and connecting with people through conversation by looking for what you might have in common. We dig into the need to slow down, listen well, and look for opportunities to connect with others without coming off as though you’re interviewing them.

The Power of Free Information and Three-Dimensional Conversations

Debra illustrates the concept of free information and its role in initiating engaging conversations. Topics like the location you’re in or the event you’re attending are a great way to get to know someone rather than asking tricky personal questions about marriage or children. Debra shares how to start a conversation on non-business-related topics that give conversations a three-dimensional aspect, making them more engaging and meaningful.

Overcoming Social Anxiety and Fear of Rejection in Networking

Debra gives us tips about turning networking into a task and setting specific goals, such as talking to three new people at an event. We discuss how turning interactions into tasks can help overcome social anxiety and the fear of rejection.

Debra stresses the importance of gracefully exiting a conversation, showing appreciation when ending a conversation, and not feeling responsible for someone feeling abandoned. She provides tips for using the “white flag” technique and following through on promises when finishing up conversations.


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