The Journal

5 Reasons To Be in Conversation With Strangers

One of the things I’ve committed to through the end of the year is being in conversation with someone new at least once a week. I made this commitment on a coaching call with my own coach (remember, you cannot sell something you are not willing to buy!) and I chose this commitment because it would make me a little uncomfortable. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love to talk to people. I am the person that talks to strangers standing in the checkout line at the grocery store, but that doesn’t mean it is easy for me to be in the right conversations with new people.

Being in conversations with strangers on a regular basis requires you to build those muscles. It is a habit. These conversations can be in person, over the phone or through Skype/FaceTime but they do require hearing one another’s voice. An email or messenger exchange does not have the same effect.

Here are five reasons why you want to get this muscle memory up and running!


Professional networking

This may seem obvious, but being in conversation with strangers affords you the opportunity to meet new people! If you are active on different social media platforms, take action and invite someone you follow or admire into a conversation. Remember the worst they can say is no — so why not give it a try?

The number one thing I tell people who are looking to grow their business is to network and build a tribe. Just this week I had an amazing conversation with Justine from It Just Flows. I have long admired Justine’s work and her “Calligraphy for Gratitude” workshops. I decided to reach out to her and see if she wanted to jump on a quick FaceTime chat with me. Not only was she happy to do so, during our conversation I learned that she is interested in partnering with me on an event. So many doors open up when you invite people into a conversation.

Learn something new

Being in conversation will most assuredly put you in a position to learn something new. Honestly, the possibilities are endless. The other day while sitting with my oldest daughter at a local coffee shop, we met a woman that appeared to be down on her luck. She was not asking for a handout; she was simply asking us to check her bus pass and see how much money was remaining. We had a computer open and she needed to go online. While looking, she shared a little about her journey and gave some “life lessons.” .. We did end up helping her out a little and I was grateful for the opportunity, but what I learned from this experience is how gracious and tender my daughter’s heart is.

When this homeless woman approached and asked my daughter (she was the one with the computer) to check her bus pass, my sweet girl smiled brightly and said, “of course!” and was so patient with this stranger. There was never a moment of hesitation. There was no fear of the unknown, only kindness and willingness to help someone in need. I could not have been more proud of my baby girl at that moment and it led to a really powerful and passionate conversation about compassion and helping those that are less fortunate.

Helping others

There is something magical about being able to help others. I am constantly telling my clients (and my kids!) that we cannot give someone what they need if we don’t know what it is. One thing I do in all of my conversations is ask how I can be of service. Is there anything I can do to help you get where you are going? I almost always get some type of “yes.” I find great joy in helping others whether it be offering a coaching session to help them solve a few problems, running to the grocery store for a friend who is homesick, or simply listening when someone needs an ear.

See the world beyond your own

It is easy to get stuck in our own worlds and to move through time with blinders on. The flip side is that we often see things one-sided and it causes us to lose compassion for the experience of others. Life is complicated and sometimes difficult. We run businesses, manage households, raise children and that often doesn’t leave space to see the world beyond our own experience. Being in conversation with new people gives us a window into a completely new perspective and it affords us an opportunity to step out of our normal lives and understand the perspectives of others just a little bit more. By engaging someone in conversation who has a totally different life experience than you, you open your heart and mind and gain compassion for others. You just might step more gently and kindly into the world and situations that may affect others, even if they don’t affect you. The world is wide but our perspectives are narrow without conversations with new people.

Enrich your life

One thing all of the items listed above have in common is that, in one way or another, they all help to enrich your life. Getting out of your comfort zone and networking then building a tribe, learning new things, helping others and seeing the world beyond your own are all important life experiences. They give us a broader sense of the world and the people in it. They help us serve more graciously in our businesses and families, build stronger relationships that have the power to drastically change our communities, and give us a sense of usefulness and gratitude that is strengthening and empowering.

It is all about connection. We often connect with people we see every day and those we know well — but making an effort to connect with strangers has a powerful impact in so many ways. I challenge you to identify a stranger to be in conversation with this week and then let me know how it impacted you!

I am doing some new and exciting stuff lately including audio content so you can listen on the go! Would you like to be part of this audio experience with me? If you accept my challenge to be in conversation with a stranger this week, will you send me a recording (voice only, no video) about the experience and how it impacted you? I will be compiling these experiences for a special audio experience and I would love to include yours!

You can email the audio clip to me here and, as always, I love hearing from you in any format you prefer. Reach out at any time via Facebook, Instagram or email. I promise that I personally read and respond to every single note.

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