One-minute friendships

A friend returned from his high school class reunion. “Did you have a good time?” I asked.

“I saw lots of people I hadn’t seen in 40 years. I’d talk to each for a minute or two, then I’d move to someone else. I’d describe the event as two evenings of one-minute friendships.”

One-minute relationships are common. How many people do you know at work, at your children’s school, or in the community that you see day after day — year after year — but know very little about them?

My Dad suggested a remedy. “At each meeting,” he advised, “give each person you meet something to remember you by. And find something unique about each of them…and remember it.

“Next time you meet, you’ll have an immediate conversation-starter.”

Informal biographies

Over the last four decades I’ve written well over 500 short biographies. Because I do this so much, I created a simple format I follow nearly every time.

So I’m constantly surprised when parents or grandparents tell me they’d like to tell their kids about the “early years,” but don’t know how to get started.

One way I recommend is that the writer recall her earliest vivid memory, and begin the story from that point. In my case, it was sitting on the couch with my Mom or Dad when I was three or four, and having them read children’s books to me.

What “first event” jump-starts your memory? Is it getting your first dog or cat, or interacting with a sibling? I find that after you get the first few sentences down on paper, the writing gets much easier.

Take a look at Rix’s new book: How to Sell Ideas With the Minute Message.