In episode 11 of Relationships First, Bill and Molly discuss the art of starting relationships. Four magic words, “tell me about yourself,” is a great place to start.
Molly McKinley: Hey Bill. This is episode 11 already. I cannot believe that. And today we are going be talking about starting relationships. We spend a lot of time talking about our relationships with things and people, but how do you actually start a relationship that is going to be valuable, meaningful, and maybe long-term? I don't know. But anyway, let's dive into this topic.
Bill Risser: Yeah, I like that. It's a difficult thing for a lot of people. There are a lot of people that are ... we'll call them shy or introverted. But obviously the relationship can't start without a conversation. Right?
Molly McKinley: No.
Bill Risser: That's the first thing that has to happen. It could be online. I'd feel that it's more valuable in person. Or somehow having some sort of a more of a human contact than a text. How do you start a relationship? You and I both attend ... You attend way more than I do, lots of events around the country. And you meet hundreds of people every year, right?
Molly McKinley: Yeah, exactly.
Bill Risser: What do you do? How do you start a conversation? What do you do when you're in that group? What's your trick?
Molly McKinley:I start with the eyes.
Bill Risser: Really?
Molly McKinley: Yeah. You make eye contact. And that actually is the first word in a conversation, is locking eyes. And when you lock eyes it draws somebody in, or you draw to each other. When you think about people who aren't necessarily great at starting relationships, it's often because they are connecting. But we connect first with our eyes.
Bill Risser: Wow, does that ever freak anybody out?
Molly McKinley: You're not staring weirdly.
Bill Risser: Oh, okay. It's not like, open-eyed, just starting at them? Okay.
Molly McKinley: I wish that they could see this zoom that we're on, because that was actually really cute, Bill. He gave me the big eye. No, not weirdly starting. But think about, how often are you making eye contact? And usually when you make eye contact is when you're like, "Oh," In a sea of people you start to talk to the person you lock eyes with, right?
Bill Risser: Yeah.
Molly McKinley: And for whatever reason, that to me is all ... That's another conversation, but that's always fascinating. Why in a sea of people are you drawn to one? But because we're talking about events, I have an extrovert-introvert. I am really uncomfortable, actually, when I'm in a sea of people that I don't know. And you're just like, "Okay, this is great. I don't know a single soul here. And I feel really uncomfortable."
Molly McKinley: Then all the sudden someone walks by and you make eye contact, and then it's like, "Hey, how are you?" And they're probably equally uncomfortable. And so just acknowledging that is a nice little ... I don't know. I always say, "If you have one friend in the room, you're doing okay. One friend is all you need." But I believe it starts with eye contact.
Bill Risser: It's funny you say that because I definitely am aware and almost uncomfortable when you're with somebody who doesn't make eye contact. When you're talking to somebody who does avert their gaze, right?
Molly McKinley: Yes, yes.
Bill Risser: It's really weird. It is kind of an uncomfortable situation. Definitely makes me uncomfortable when someone won't look at me.
Molly McKinley: Yes.
Bill Risser: Yeah.
Molly McKinley: You're going back to an earlier episode too about a relationship with ourselves. Right?
Bill Risser: Mm-hmm (affirmative), yeah, right.
Molly McKinley: And I learned a long time ago that often times when I felt most uncomfortable with somebody, it's because they felt really uncomfortable in their own skin, and that I was just catching on to that. I was just feeling their negative energy. And I don't mean negative energy in the way that they're emitting negative energy, but I was feeling their uncomfortableness. And that was, again, one of those moments were I was like, "Oh, okay." Just holding space for them so that they know that I'm not judging them, and lifting them up, and just making them feel safe is the way around that for me.
Molly McKinley: In terms of being able to connect with people, even when they're feeling uncomfortable. Or even just acknowledging, like, "Hey ..." I don't know. Helping them feel safe. But that is something that I have learned along the way that often times when we're feeling really uncomfortable because someone has a shifty gaze, it's really because they're really uncomfortable. Just helping them through that a little bit.
Bill Risser: I know that for realtors, really anyone in the real estate industry, what you want more than anything else on a daily basis is conversations with people. Right?
Molly McKinley: It is.
Bill Risser: I don't care what you're talking about. You could be talking about a round of golf last week, or you could be talking about, "I've almost got my Yoga Masters." It doesn't matter what you're talking about, it's just a conversation. I preach that to people all day long. The whole reason you stay connected to your spheres, to have a conversation, the whole reason you pay for online reads is because you wanna have a conversation with somebody. And that's critical.
Bill Risser: But then once that conversations going ... And this comes from direct experience. I know this to be true. You gotta shut up. You get the conversation going and you gotta listen. You have to pay attention. And I heard a great ... There's four words that are guaranteed to get a conversation going with someone you don't know. Do you know what those four words are?
Molly McKinley: I don't know. At least I don't think I do. What are they?
Bill Risser: Tell me about yourself.
Molly McKinley: Yes.
Bill Risser: That's it.
Molly McKinley: That makes sense.
Bill Risser: Tell me about yourself. It's not pinning someone in a corner, it's not, "What do you do for a living?" They can decide what they wanna disclose and share so they feel more comfortable. And I heard that this week. I can't wait to start using more and more of that as I meet people, "Tell me about yourself." Or another good one is, "What keeps you busy?" Because they can go wherever they want with what keeps you busy? They can head off into their work, their passion, their family, whatever it is. And for me, there's ... I love to read, I love to learn. And I know a little bit about a lot of things, right?
Molly McKinley: Yeah. I think that's where we connected too, yeah.
Bill Risser: For the listeners, I mentioned a couple of poses in yoga and you're like, "Oh my gosh, you know those." I'm like, "Like I said, I know a little about a lot." I don't fish or hunt, but when I meet a fisherman or a hunter-man, a true passionate hunter, I know enough to have a conversation, and to be interested in what they do. I think that's [crosstalk 00:07:21]. Yeah.
Molly McKinley: You just said something. To be interested in what they do. And that is it, right? It's about the other person. I think you're right on because I'm thinking back to, how do I start a conversation with somebody that I don't know? And usually the first question is, "What's your story? Who are you? What's your story?" But that's because I actually am genuinely interested in people. There used to be that Steve Hartman show on Sunday mornings where everybody had the story reading, went through the phone book, drew the name, and then he went and told that person's story. Do you remember that?
Bill Risser: I do. Yeah, we're dating ourselves. Aren't we? Isn't that a while ago?
Molly McKinley: It was when I was a kid. But that was actually ... I looked forward to that. I loved that. And it was true. Usually the first thing people would say is, "There's nothing interesting about me." And then through the course of this conversation, not only would that be completely false, but that these people, these ordinary everyday people have these rich amazing stories to share. And that is, again, where it all comes down is when we see each other and see each other.
Bill Risser: Yeah, yeah.
Molly McKinley: It gets really interesting.
Bill Risser: Passion and stories. Ignite Phoenix was an event that I helped. I was a volunteer there, but I also presented at Ignite Phoenix. They're five minute talks. You get 20 slides that advance every 15 seconds. You don't have control of the clicker. It just starts and you gotta keep going. So it takes a lot of pressure.
Molly McKinley: Oh my gosh, okay.
Bill Risser: The gentlemen who created it in Phoenix, Jeff Moriarty, I met him at a bar I think. And someone said, "Here's Jeff, he's the guy that runs Ignite Phoenix. You gotta check him out. This is fun." And Jeff's always asking people, "What's your passion?" And people go, "I'm not really passionate." He goes, "That's bull. Everybody's passionate about something. What's your passion?" And that's what these talks were about is, what are you passionate about?
Bill Risser: I just said to him, "I'm passionate about Barbra Streisand." And he loved it, and he said, "You gotta submit the idea for a talk. Do it." I ended up submitting and I end up getting picked. So I did do my presentation in front of a thousand people at the Scottsdale Center for the Performing Arts on my 33 year love affair of Barbra Streisand.
Molly McKinley: Is that real? I mean, is that true? [crosstalk 00:09:51] Is that a true story?
Bill Risser: It's on YouTube. You can Google-
Molly McKinley: Oh my goodness. You really have a 33 year love affair with Barbra Streisand?
Bill Risser: It's now 40 ... 41. Because that was eight years ago that I did that presentation.
Molly McKinley: That's actually amazing. And I don't know if I knew that. I know you
MENTIONED her before, but I had no idea. I love it.
Bill Risser: That's the basis for the real estate sessions. You know what that does for me? I'm curious about people. I know a lot about you. Right, Molly?
Molly McKinley: Yup [crosstalk 00:10:22].
Bill Risser: Because you and I've had conversations, deep conversations. I've done this same thing with tons of people. I love finding out where they come from, what they do, what's their story, like you said. I've done that now 170 times on the podcast. I get to figure out who somebody is. So maybe that's another opportunity for someone listening in, if they struggle within those one-on-one situations, think of a way to create an interview opportunity, or something else that starts the process.
Bill Risser: Because maybe as a realtor, maybe you wanna talk to local shop owners or community leaders, and build relationships with them. It can all start with just a simple request to talk to them for 10 minutes and ask them some questions, so they could post it somewhere.
Molly McKinley: That's the core of my marketing strategy right there, is I interview people. That's it.
Bill Risser: Yeah.
Molly McKinley: And there's something magic that happens in that conversation. I think that's a really strong advice. What are the takeaways? Do we get your noses out of the phones and make eye contact? Right?
Bill Risser: Very good.
Molly McKinley: Be more interested in the other person.
Bill Risser: Listen a whole lot more than you talk. That' old, but it absolutely applies here.
Molly McKinley: Yeah.
Bill Risser: I like that.
Molly McKinley: Yeah, I do too. And then, be less concerned about ... Again, deflect our uncomfortableness about like, "Hey, I don't have a passion to share." It's not about that. You learn about the other person and be genuinely interested. That's the start of any healthy relationship.
Bill Risser: Yeah, the last thing you do is you be careful who you tell your passion about Barbra Streisand to, because you might end up on a stage.
Molly McKinley: There you go. That's it. WE can add nothing else to this episode. That is absolutely it.
Bill Risser: Well look, Molly, next week is Christmas. So I'm sure you have some amazing plans with your family and friends. Cindy and I do as well. We're gonna take a couple of weeks off with the podcast, and take time and enjoy our families and our friends. And then roll into 2019. We'll be back the second week of 2019 with episode 12. An undisclosed yet as yet topic, but we're looking forward to talking to everyone again in the new year.
Molly McKinley: That sounds amazing. Hopefully I'll be on the slopes. That's what I'm hoping to do.
Bill Risser: Awesome. Be careful. I'm not gonna say break a leg. I'm gonna say be careful.
Molly McKinley: Yes, exactly. Hey everybody, have a wonderful holiday, and thanks so much for tuning in. And remember, don't forget to share this with a friend because that's how this podcast continues to grow.
Bill Risser: All right. Thanks everybody.