Last week a friend asked me how I knew an influential builder in our city. The questions came on the heels of an extended conversation about information I had about his plans for constructing a building on Main Street in our city. It wasn’t insider news, or even facts that weren’t available to anyone else. I happened to know because I asked questions that resulted in an extended conversation that produced insights. So… how did meet the builder? I talked with a stranger.

LeadershipOnRamp seeks to develop leaders with a heart for their city who take time to meet people and know the issues faced in their neighborhoods. As a way of meeting people I often walk my neighborhood, as well as others. When I meet people, I look for common areas of interest to build a relationship. FYI… I don’t know why this works, but walking with a dog helps break the ice.

In the case of the builder, I met him while walking along the beach north of our downtown. I don’t actually remember how the conversation started or why we exchanged contact information, but the point is… we met as strangers and left as acquaintances.

How do you meet strangers? What makes them interesting for you talk to?