The Power of Talking to Strangers

Naomi Cooper July 23, 2014

The Power of Talking to StrangersAs children, we are taught to never to talk to strangers. Our parents weren’t trying to isolate us or make us antisocial; it was merely seen as a reasonable precaution taken to keep kids safe. Fast forward twenty or thirty years, and an unintended consequence of the “stranger danger” mantra is that grown adults often find it difficult and uncomfortable — even scary  — to talk to people we don’t know.

Whether we’d prefer to be distracted by our mobile devices or are simply too shy to make the first move, talking to strangers elicits severe anxiety in many adults. I recently came across an interesting article about this very topic that profiles Danny Harris, a writer and creative director living in Washington DC who made a commitment to talking to one stranger every day, a practice he continued for over three years!

Actually, talking to strangers can be a great way to build the dental team’s confidence, practice verbal skills and even spark word of mouth for your dental practice. What’s more, it’s completely free.

The conversations don’t have to be long or involved, and you don’t have to whip out your business card at the end. Instead, try casually mentioning what you do for a living (and asking the other person about him/herself) in the natural course of any chance encounter, be it at the veterinarian’s office, standing in line at the coffee shop or waiting for an elevator.

Now imagine if you were able to start a casual conversation like this with 3 strangers every day for 30 days. That’s 90 new connections you could make in just one month! Let’s take it a step further – what if your entire team committed to this “3 strangers a day for 30 days” plan? Imagine the number of members of your local community who would have the chance to have a positive association with, and possibly even get to know a little bit more about your dental practice — all because of a few quick, friendly conversations?

Check out this Ted Talks at and try talking to a stranger today. You never know — it could yield big results for your practice, and possibly even transform your life!

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