Connecting Authentically with Great Conversations

Learn how to connect quickly and have meaningful conversations

Do you know how to have engaging conversations that lead to meaningful interactions, even with a stranger? 

Hi, I’m Clarence! I’m one of the new contributors to KDAlive. Recently I went to a workshop called the Art of Charm. The AoC is the podcast noted for increasing sociability, networking, and attraction.  Through a 5 day residential bootcamp, this program is designed to increase social confidence by mastering conversations, body language awareness, and overall situational awareness. 

Here are my top 3 key takeaways:

  1. Quickly create meaningful conversations by directing the conversation to a “We” pattern.
  2. Become a high-value individual by recognizing others for their values
  3. Understand and develop your first – impression 

The AoC equips its students with the skills to level up their social life.  I found their lessons to be extremely practical and relevant to everyday use. 

To create meaningful conversations,, we used the QAS framework to listen for emotional bids. For example: 

  1. You ask a question: “What drink is that?”
  2. The person answers: “It’s a Moscow Mule. I love it!”
  3. The statement you give depends on their answer. 
    1. If a positive sentiment (loving Moscow Mules), create a situation involving “we”. “We should have a Moscow Mule party!”
    2. If a negative sentiment (I’m not a fan of this Moscow Mule), create a situation involving “me” indicating empathy. “Yeah, I’ve ordered bad drinks before. It’s such a let down”

In either scenario, the key is to listen actively and align yourself with the party’s emotion. Either by creating opportunities with them or empathizing with them when misfortune strikes.  QAS trains ensure the conversation remains flowing and that you’re not simply on conversation autopilot. 

The AAA framework is another conversation framework, with the intended goal to give recognition and value to the party. As an example, when talking with a professional softball player

 

  • Give full attention to them without distraction from a phone or passerby
  • Approve the values that this person holds, hard work and discipline
  • Accept them by inviting them out to another event or exchanging phone numbers

 

As superficial as they seem, first impressions are vital. The AoC gave a breakdown of their four components of a first impression. 

  1. Static 
    1. Are you healthy? Are you sleeping well? 
  2. Dynamic
    1. What body language are you presenting to people?
  3. Presentation
    1. What is your clothing style that you show to others? 
    2. How do you communicate yourself to the world?
  4. Incidental
  5. Where are you standing and who are you standing next to?

You may ask, “How do I practice this?”

During the AoC, we held a belief to “F* Sh*t Up”. The goal of these exercises is not to have a great conversation, but simply to start one in the first place.   In LA, we frequented bars and clubs, giving ourselves goals to talk to a certain amount of strangers and to high five or cheers them. Similarly, hold yourself accountable by going to places where people converge or are open to talk, whether bars or bookstore cafe’s.   

Above all else, be true to yourself by setting the right goals. Everyone handles situations differently.  The less attached we are to other people’s opinions, the more likely we are to be true to ourselves, allowing us to live with true authenticity. This requires courage, introspection, and a commitment to tell the truth – to ourselves and to others. 

Is this Bootcamp right for me?

It depends. The AoC bootcamp is not a silver bullet to solve your social anxiety and instantly increase attractiveness and sociability. While the teachers, AJ and Johnny, do a great job of arming their students with the knowledge to succeed, your mileage will vary depending on your effort after workshop and priorities. 

With solidarity, 

Clarence

 

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