- This is basic information. A person has to initiate prior to starting a friendship. Think about it – friendships start with people knowing a person’s name, taking an interest, and asking questions. Lately I have been in multiple settings because of our boys’ interests. I don’t mean to generalize, but men especially, seem to sit back and wait. This is not how to start a friendship. I have observed that most men past 30 seem to struggle with gaining more friends. They certainly have co-workers, fellow coaches, and sport buddies. Friends? Seems to be more sparing. Initiating is the secret starting component for both men and women.
- I was with a great guy yesterday. We had never met. After some small talk at an event, he went his way, and I went mine. (Back to the coffee!) We happened to again be standing near each other. I purposefully tried to connect. HOW? The only way you can after you initiate – conversation. I asked him why he lived where he lived, how he got there, and what he loves. I asked him about his kids, and highlights from his job. We talked about how he met his wife, and what he likes to do. At one point, believe it or not, there were some tears and deep conversation. We really did connect. How? The art of conversation.
- This could be so many things, but it has to go from the conversation at the event, on the soccer field, or the water cooler to the next level. How? This can only happen with the next step – DO SOMETHING. Invite the family over for dinner, go on a run or workout, golf, road bike, have coffee, or attend a sporting event. This is what moves it to the “next level.” You have to use both of the first skills to get and be at this “DO SOMETHING” phase. You have to initiate to do something, and when you do something, you get to know each other through conversation.
ROUND THE BASES
- Think of conversations as a baseball diamond. From 1st base all the way to home plate. 1st base hit – conversations about basic life, sports, news, etc. 2nd base conversations are more about job, home, college, kids, and other normal “safe things.” 3rd base could be relationships and even a sense of how these relationships are thriving. Home plate . . . ahhhhhh, the conversations about current realities, places of struggles, and hopes. Home plate conversations usually revolve around the HEART.
- This is the art of following through on what you have heard and learned in all of the above. Here is a very small example – we had a gathering at our house. There is a great guy who I’m getting to be friends with. As we served pies that night for dessert he noticed that we had no “pie server.” 2 days later a box arrives at our house with what – yep, a pie server! I love Amazon! Care is taking everything from the above four steps and FOLLOWING-UP! This will begin to show that a friendship is being formed. Trust me . . . the next time I am with Tim, my heart is full because of the fact that he cared enough to send us a pie server!