Click with Someone

30 11 2010

“When it all just clicks into place”
Connecting with someone can bring out the best in us, Fiona Smith, writes (via Australian Financial Review, 30 Nov, p 58)

The article talks about the book “Click: the Magic of Instant Connections” by Rom and Ori Brafman.  It writes in the context of work teams and other situations.   I see it all relationships – strangers at a bus stop or best friends.  The bok writes that trust often takes weeks or months before most of us feel truly comfortable with a new person, but sometimes that is greatly accelerated and connections form that are almost magically and instantaneously.

The book encourages “click accelerator” behaviours to help people connect. These are –

  1. Vulnerability. Showing honesty, disclosing who you are, and dropping the protective amours can alter dynamics. Most people hesitate for fear of looking weak or needy but in fact showing vulnerability allows themselves to be seen as human
  2. Proximity. Chances of clicking the closer you are and when people see more of you (trust builds from familiarity). It encourages face-to-face interaction in companies.  It is one of the biggest factors to forming relationships – a study showed a person living in the middle of a dorm was more popular because they come into contact with more people.
  3. Resonance. Giving someone your full attention.
  4. Similarity. Find points of connection whether trivial or serious
  5. Environment. Taking on challenges or adversity stimulates clicking in teams
  6. Reflect. Mirror people’s moods and postures. Some people will naturally do this to make others comfortable. These chameleons are “high self monitors” (in companies a study showed these people took 1.5 years to reach positions that “low self monitors” took 13 years to reach!)

I relate to many of these point.  “Proximity” is one I’ve struggle to deal with this year as I often found myself in physical distance to those I wished to be near.  “Environment” makes me think of the trust bonds I have with those I have faced design challenges and projects with and late nughts in the office.  “Similiarity” I think of the different interests and trust I share with people in my life, and how that categorises my life and groups (eg design friends, work friends, etc)

It would hard to achieve all those accelators in this project at a bus stop but I do see some of the points reflecting behaviours.  For those who always catch the same bus, and recognise  the regulars, that is trust based on shared proximity and similarities.

I think the hardest one people face (at bus stops, and I find in life!) is the showing vulnerability one.  “Take a risk and share someting you normally wouldn’t need to show” he says. “As adults, we normally only share on a need-to-know basis”

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