-3 seconds before – when you choose to engage

I can’t think of anything more critical to your well-being, development, and success than the quality of your relationships. You have relationships with friends, colleagues, family members, guests, customers, and even with strangers, for example, on a bus, train, or airplane. 

Is every relationship important? Well, no, of course, some are more important than others. Still, if you want a friend relationship, customer relationship, colleague, or boss relationship to deepen, it is worth your while to think about how you can do that.

This is especially important if you are the relationship leader – for example if you are a parent, teacher, coach, team leader, or salesperson.

So, if you care about your relationships, it is logical to think about many of those brief meetings with others you have during your day and how you approach and carry out those short engagements.

If you care, and you should, you will learn some of the essential details of how to go about it.

Why this focus on twenty seconds? Sure, most of the time you will have more time, especially if you are a parent, teacher, coach, or even a salesperson. This mini-course is about brief encounters, those twenty seconds that can start or enhance trust and future cooperation when you are sometimes virtually standing on one foot on your way to your next event, meeting, or task. 


The point is that a lot of things happen in those twenty seconds, so let’s go through them. This one is called Minus 3. Minus 3 is about the three seconds when you see a person and make a decision to engage or not. 

I don’t know about you, but I call myself an introvert. I hate parties, don’t mind doing things on my own, and am not keen on meeting new people. If you are a bit like me and don’t automatically throw yourself into “people” situations, you need to decide.

Do I want to meet this person? Should I meet this person (not always the same as wanting)? Is it expected of me to meet and greet this person? What are the potential rewards or risks? Am I the relationship leader in this situation and have a duty to engage, encourage and be curious? I may not be the relationship leader in this situation, but I do want to be seen, heard, and recognized?

Define a purpose for making contact – to make contact, enhance a relationship, get information, pure curiosity, or some other goal or purpose?