A Guide to Conversational Intimacy

  • Lead with vulnerability — I will tell people I barely know about my insecurities, struggles, kids, parenting mishaps, professional disappointments, business ideas, successes, favorite taco places, etc. Both positive and negative, because I want the other person to know I’m human, and they can be human back. This approach says I trust you. You don’t need to earn my trust. Once trust reciprocates, a meaningful relationship takes shape. I’ve let go of my former beliefs, “trust but verify,” and “earn my trust,” because life is too short.
  • No walls between personal and business — I bounce back and forth between personal and business topics. I’m indifferent to whether the conversation’s outcome is personal or business. Maybe we learn our kids are the same age and set a play date. Or decide to play a round of golf. Or perhaps we will arrange to meet to discuss a project. Building a relationship is what matters. Be Stoic to the outcome.
  • Active Listening — I am terrible at listening. And I have to work on it daily. But it is essential to build on the flow of a conversation and engage appropriately. If a relationship forms, there will be plenty of opportunities to address your topics. So be patient and let conversations develop.
  • Authenticity — I try to talk to folks like I’ve known them my whole life. I visualize that we go way back. I prefer someone to meet an authentic version of me and abort quickly than like a business actor playing me. I’ve often attempted to adapt my style to better align with another individual. It backfires.

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Jason Linkswiler

Jason Linkswiler

I’m a consultant living the best life I can while trying to be a great father and husband.