Recently, I visited the MVA for some necessary documentation. After hours of standing in line (because that’s just how they roll), and tired of listening to the ramblings of the guy in front of me, I decided to pay a little more attention to my surroundings. That was when I noticed something rather interesting. I could have bet that the lady behind me—Lady A—shared the same ethnic or national roots as the lady behind the counter, let’s call her Lady B. Nothing stood out until the ladies struck up some rudimentary banter. Hi’s and Hello’s turned to longer sentences and event giggles. Over the course of thirty minutes, I watched as friendship bloomed.
These women didn’t know themselves from Adam. I watched Lady A walk up to the line, and the first hour with her didn’t reveal any familiarities with Lady B. But before my eyes, and the other tired eyes of my fellow line-dwellers, a kinship blossomed. Somehow the language—a common language—and culture attracted and bonded these two.
The easiest way to connect with anyone or a community is to seek and tap into a commonality. Speak the language, use the trigger words, appreciate the culture and you begin to unlock the possibilities of rapport. Common grounds are the foundations for connection and friendship. Explore it.
Do you have any instances when commonality opened doors for you?