How to Connect with New People


By Jeff Rust, partner, Truss

Relationships are one of the most prized possessions but many struggle with the first steps of how to meaningfully connect with new people. Here are a few small things that have helped me:

1. Preparation

  • Get comfortable in your own skin. Relax and remember why your friends like you.
  •  Practice gratitude as this increases your positivity and calms your nerves.
  • Push yourself slightly outside of your comfort zone and then recharge. (Set a goal of how many new connections and how many reconnections you’d like to make a week/month. Most of the best conversations and opportunities come from reconnections, but you have to have new connections to have increasing reconnections.)

2. Interaction

  • Smile
  • Compliment sincerely. (But in a non-creepy way such as shoes, watches, bags, etc.)
  • Discover what is important to the person you’re talking to you.
  • Be genuinely curious. This leads to better, more authentic questions and active listening.
  • Find things you have in common and build on them.
  • Be two parts interested and one part interesting. People love a great listener but they love an even better conversation. Keep the ratio in proper proportion.
  • Keep perspective of why you’re meeting new people and try to enjoy the process.

3. Follow up

  • Follow up appropriately. Based on the conversation/connection, invite them to connect on social media. Consider texting or sending a thank you card that will build on the momentum of the connection.
  • Explore and share how you can be a resource to help them.

Some of the best books on this topic are “How to Win Friends and Influence People” by Dale Carnegie and “Give and Take” by Adam Grant.


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