How to Connect With People

This is the story of three waves I caught while surfing one day. Waves are like people—and I want to talk a moment about how to connect with people.

The first wave looked great. It had all the traits of a fun ride. As soon as I caught it, it closed out and drilled me. Disappointment ensued.

The second wave didn’t look like much as it came rolling in, but there was nothing behind it, so I grabbed it. Turns out, it exceeded my expectations and was pretty good.

The third wave had all the attributes of the first. Unfortunately, after catching it and making a couple of cuts, I started to think about the first wave and promptly fell off my stand up board and watched it roll into shore with out me. More disappointment.

What’s the point? The point is that people are like waves. Each one is totally unique. Some that look great are going to disappoint you. Some that don’t appear all that impressive will surprise you. Still others will live up to their potential, but you’ll let them down because of past experiences where you got burned.

I often get asked for tips on connecting with people. I have a few, but it’s always important to remember not to try and apply technical principles to emotional things. You don’t need a 10-step process to make friends. Just go with it. Ask lots of questions. Make very few assumptions. And, lead with a servant’s heart.