How much time does it take to establish connections, and build rapport in a relationship with another person? A co-worker? An employee? A client/customer? A family member or a partner?

Not as long as you think. This can all happen in less than three minutes if you are intentional about it. People are busy, especially at work, so it makes it harder to have longer conversations where you can really invest in building those important relationships. 

For me, these connections and relationship builders take place in conversation with others. I simply ask people about their lives. That’s it. 

Here are some ideas to start a short conversation with someone.

How was your son’s birthday party? How’s your shoulder injury? What are your plans for the weekend? Tell me about your favorite restaurant. You ok? You seem to have things on your mind. 

When you have those short, 1-3 minute conversations over time, you build trust with other people, and you lay the foundation for creating a solid sense of community in your workplace, in your associations, in your neighborhood, and all of the other places where people gather. 

Does it make a difference to other people when you take the time to ask about their lives? I believe it does, but… Don’t ask me, ask them.

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