Do you have the coolest stories? Are you able to talk for hours about your exciting life? Do you think people find you interesting?
Here’s the problem though. When you’re trying to recruit someone into your organization (and this is going to be hard to handle, so prepare)… potential members aren’t going to join because you OR your organization are interesting. The only reason they’ll join you is if you show interest in them.
Let me explain a little further… Pretend you’ve just met a prospective member at one of your recruitment events. You start by asking the obligatory questions that seem to be the only things we know how to ask in such a situation… “What’s your name? What’s your major? Where are you from?” GREAT WORK! You started off the conversation just fine (albeit boring and contrived, but nonetheless the conversation is rolling).
Now, though, you might feel stuck. You might experience that awkward silence that can be the most uncomfortable thing in the world. And you might think, “O.K., I should tell this guy/gal an interesting story about my life or my organization.” That’s where you would be wrong.
Here’s the thing… people just want to be liked. That’s all. People want you to pay attention to them, let them talk about themselves, and feel like you’re taking an interest in them. You don’t do that by telling stories about your greatest Greek experiences. Nor do you do that by sharing your funniest anecdotes from childhood. You do that by asking them questions and listening to their stories and anecdotes… then politely laugh, smile, nod, and guffaw when appropriate.
Check out our “Five F*n Ways to Master a Conversation” (the women refer to these as the “Five FABULOUS Ways to Master a Conversation,” but guys like to cuss) in Good Guys for some great tips on stuff to ask about.
Be interested. Not Interesting.