Day 1: Emotional Sharing

Rapport is the foundation of all relationships, and one of the key ways that rapport is built is through story telling. We all know that person who always has an amazing story to tell. It might be something ridiculous from his childhood or that crazy thing her student said. And these friends are often our dearest friends, and/or the life of the party wherever they're at.

If you're anything like me, you might feel like you don't really have good stories to tell. My life is pretty repetitive. Wake up, drive to work, do my work, drive home from work, go to sleep, repeat. I mean, there's a little variation here and there, but my life look largely the same week in and week out.

I was listening to The Art of Charm today, specifically Episode 415: Rapport. There's a lot that can go in to building rapport with people, but one piece of advice really jumped out at me:

When you're telling a story, you're not trying to communicate facts; you're conveying emotion.

If you've ever had a hilarious story fall flat, this might be your problem. I often find myself getting so caught up in the details that the story loses its luster. Or I'll be so excited about the punchline (with the scene vividly displayed across the movie screen in my mind) that I skip key details, losing my audience. But when I make sure that I communicate just enough detail to paint the scene without eclipsing the punchline, then we're all laughing together, which draws us closer together.
So the next time I'm telling a story, I'm going to focus on emotional sharing with my audience. Even if they can't relate to my situation, if I do my job well, they'll resonate with how I felt in that circumstance.
See you tomorrow!

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