Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Coffee Zombies Unite...I mean Connect

Do you want to become better at meeting new people? Try this exercise on for size.

Go to your local Starbucks every day at the same time for two weeks. Open your eyes and look at who is standing in line with you. Take mental notes of faces, hair styles, clothes, etc.

If you are going about the same time every day you are likely to see the same faces over and over again. Think about it....most people have their morning rituals and Starbucks is basically our legalized crack dealer pumping us full of caffeine so we can go out and take on our day. Starbucks drinkers are loyal and most will show up every day at the same time to get their java jolt before heading into the salt mines.

Now as you see these same faces over and over again try taking baby steps towards connecting with them.

Week One:

Day 1 Start by trying to catch someone's eye and smile.
Day 2-3 Rinse and repeat for the next two days.
Day 4 On day four try saying "Good Morning." No need to get into heavy involved conversation.
Day 5 On day five try and catch them either at the counter where you stir in your cream and sugar or manage to walk out the door at the same time bidding them "Have a good weekend" as you head to your car.

Week Two:

Day 1 Smile as you see them in line and ask them "How was your weekend?"
Day 2 Try saying "Fancy meeting you here!" with a big smile and a little laugh.
Day 3 Try engaging in conversation about what their favorite drink is at Starbucks and use that as a way to introduce yourself. "Oh I am Dan by the way."
Day 4 Smile as you approach the line. Don't say anything. See if they talk to you.
Day 5 Try catching them as they walk out the door and chatting them up by asking "got big plans for the weekend?"

Couple of key things to remember....

Don't be creepy. Use open body language, good smile, don't look dress like a stalker or anything crazy. Be in a good mood when you walk in. This might require you hit a Starbucks prior to going to your main Starbucks to insure you are properly caffeinated. I believe there is one on every freakin corner so it shouldn't be a problem!

Remember to have fun with this! Rinse and repeat until you and the rest of the coffee zombies know one another and it will make your morning ritual a little more fun and a lot more Ripply!

Ripple On!!!



Julie said...

The question is which Starbuck's do YOU go to? Oops. Too creepy?

terri said...

"Don't be creepy." I love it! I was just thinking how that behavior could be perceived as creepy, and then you issued the warning. Good call!

Beth said...

I think this works in the midwest - but are you sure it would work in CA? People go out of their way to ignore you...

Albuquerque girl said...

A little goodness goes along way! You just never know how a nice little comment to a stranger will start the chain effect for a better society. Why not a little rippling at Starbuck's?

Steve Harper said...


This isn't a geographical thing. Sure some areas are notorious for being a little more difficult to connect with strangers; New York and California come to mind but I still believe for the right person, with the right attitude and the best (no-creepy, no drippy sales ulterior motives) intention can make this work anywhere.

Bottom line, we as a society have lost of our ability to connect on a number of levels. Someone who is willing to step outside from the rest of the heard and be a bit different (not crazy different; polite and respectful different) gets noticed and responded to. Nice is hard to ignore!

Would love to hear more of your thoughts Beth and thanks for commenting!

Steve Harper said...

Albuquerque Girl,

Why thank you! How are things in my old stomping grounds? I love hearing from folks from my hometown! Do we happen to know one another by chance?

Thanks for reading and commenting. Hope you will keep coming back!

Ripple On!!!

Steve Harper said...

Terri & Julie.

Great comments. I try not to be creepy but sometimes it's the hair!

Ripple On!!!


Pamela Heath said...

Nice new pic Steve! Like the new beard!


Anonymous said...

Outstanding post Steve. You are truly an inspiration to so many. Thanks for doing the Ripple for us.