Conversations – Part 2/2

Its Time To Upgrade | Jeremy Bin

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1. Fear Less

You have nothing to lose. Remember that. Conversations are like any acquired skill – you are not going to succeed immediately, and you will definitely get shot down on occasion, if not more. When you feel embarrassed, remember the phrase of vital importance I am about to tell you – don’t be. The less fear you have of failure and shame, the less you will fail.

Everyone feels awkward when they start conversations with strangers – but the people who can overcome the innate fear of this opening 10 seconds are the ones that come out on top. Be honest with yourself – the last time you talked to a stranger, the one that became your most recent friend, whether it was this morning or 1999, what was the absolute hardest part of the interaction? It was, invariably, the first time you talked, or the first text you sent. And now looking back, you realise there was nothing to it at all. Remember that thought, bottle it up and take it out the next time you need courage, instead of drinking liquid courage.

2. Be A Gentlemen

James Bond, Hank Moody, Don Draper. They’re all chauvinistic of a certain caliber. But they’re well received by everyone they meet, especially women, because they’re gentlemen. Guys, this is one for you – be a gentleman. Not a pushover that gives in to everything everyone wants, but a gentleman. The balance is difficult – confident, but not overbearing, helpful, but not needy. Offer your seat, hold the door, help the old lady cross the street. Do these because it’s your duty as a gentleman, because you are the person that has it all together and not because you want recognition for everything you do. 

Start with the little things, and the big things will line themselves up in your favour. The universe is nice that way.

3. Observe

With soft skills, even the louder of the soft skills, you don’t just need to clock your 10,000 hours of practice. There are few who will train or teach you to converse right, most of which blow four figures in your wallet. There are, however, role models or key figures in society who will give these lessons for free (Only for those who observe). These men are listed above. That one funny guy or girl in the group that everyone gravitates to. What’s different about them, why are people drawn to them? The Christians have a model for this – WWJD, or What Would Jesus Do. Now try What Would Bond Do, or substitute whoever your role model is, in any social situation you encounter. You intuitively know what to do. Imagine James Bond taking a medical school interview – you know he’s going to ace it (and probably walk away with the number of the interviewer, but that’s another story).

4. Be Confident 

Surveys done by AskMen, Men’s Health and a plethora of other magazines and websites place confidence as one of the top, if not the top trait in a man and a professional. We’re not preaching the self-help book kind of confidence here; we strive for absolute confidence. Everyone has insecurities – we need approval from our peers in whatever we do, especially when doing something new. The maverick who is so outrageously confident that he does not need to seek permission in doing what he wants will be a ridiculously attractive person – to interviewers, to business partners, to members of the opposite gender, to well, members of the same gender too. To everyone, really. More than that, it’s a way of life, far more than a conversation tool – confidence to not care when others bash on a new endeavour is how businessmen come up with billion dollar business models; it’s how we discovered the Earth revolves around the sun – because Galileo didn’t give a second thought, he pursued. Of course, it’s near impossible to do this perfectly, but we can try.

Complete confidence allows for infinite endeavours because you are no longer constrained by the rules governing normal behaviour – you’re not part of the masses, you’re now better. 

Our most engaging trainer, Jeremy is adept in public presentation and uses unique methods in effective communication.

In his free time, Jeremy is a multilingualist, break dancer, free-skier, swimmer and water polo player. He was the captain of the ACS (Independent) school team, playing as goalkeeper. He currently trains with the national water polo team, vying to bring home the gold in the 2015 SEA Games.

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