“This generation, born since 1984, has extremely good technical communication skills, but they don’t have the same confidence in interpersonal face-to-face communication,” said seminar presenter Ron Hammond, director of the UVU Family Studies Program.
Valentine’s Day looming just two days away from the seminar, which was held on February 12 in the Losee Center was less about improving romantic relationships and more about where all relationships begin, in the first few seconds of face-to-face interacting with a new person.
To encourage building relationships “from scratch,” Hammond challenged attendees to compliment or ask five or so questions in the initial moments of meeting someone to show interest.
“The most powerful principle is that if you go into a situation meeting someone new … you want to validate [that person],” Hammond said. “It sets us at ease and makes the other person feel good about themselves. The most detrimental thing that people can do when they start feeling nervous is to go silent.”
Morgan McDaniel and Anna-Marie Johnson initially attended the seminar together because they thought it would focus on couples. They found that these principals “applied to all relationships because the importance in building relationships is learning about people,” Johnson said.
“What was presented applies exactly to what we are learning in our interpersonal relationships class,” said psychology student McDaniel.
Hammonds said his favorite piece of advice was, “It’s not about you; it’s about the other person.”