During this unprecedented time of quarantine and working from home, it may seem that it would be difficult to connect with people. I would argue that the opposite is true. Thanks to our plentiful electronic devices it is now easier than ever to reach out and build relationships. True, nothing can completely replace in-person dialog. However, with inventions like video chat, you can have great conversations while receiving many of the non-verbal cues that you could previously only get via face-to-face.
Due to the nature of online conversations, it is probably more difficult to start new relationships, however, it is a wonderful resource to catch up with old friends and build on existing relationships. One of the challenges many of us have faced in relationship building is that we know a lot of people, but we don't know them very well. Most of us have only a few people in our lives that we know intimate details about like the number of children they have, favorite food, alma mater, etc.
What I teach in my Networking Masterclass is to learn a person's F.R.O.G. The acronym stands for Family, Relationship, Occupation and Goals. If you focus your questions during a conversation around those four items it will give you a guideline toward finding out the things that really matter to the person you are having a discussion with.
- Family - How many children do you have? Brothers, Sisters? Tell me about your parents?
- Relationships - Married/Single/Divorced? If married, How did you meet?
- Occupation - What do you do? Do you enjoy it?
- Goals - Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Use this time when people are home to get to know them better. Use the F.R.O.G. technique to guide you.