How are you?

This is a great way to start an introduction. “How are you?” in America carries value. It is non-threatening and ingratiating, even if no more is said. The person you said it to feels he or she can trust you.

There are of course ways to ruin such an easy accomplishment, and to throw the gained trust out the window as so many guys—yes, it’s usually us guys—do so often. I was guilty of this when I was eighteen and learning! Some men, of course, never left that developmental age, which often accounts for their lack of children.

One way to break this beautiful china is by not staying out of arms reach from the person—usually a pretty woman (though, of course, all women are beautiful)—and blowing a kiss, or looking fixedly, till you think the wall is made of air and you bump your head in it.

How are you? It is a good business tactic as well in our world, not just in America. Do it with a smile, not with a frown. No one likes a frown. A woman won’t give you her number—us men, we are easy: frown and we’ll still give you ours.

Business Dating: Applying Relationship Rules in Business For Ultimate Success

One thing you don’t do during our famous pandemic life is elbow-greet a potential boss or colleague. I wouldn’t do it even after you get your foot in the door. “How are you” with a wave or with your hands in your pockets (if you’re a man) is the right way to show politeness and gratitude for a conversation or for the chance of having one in the future.

Don’t elbow greet in a professional setting. You’ll look bad and stupid. The professional way, if you’re a guy, is—just because I like to repeat myself—to keep your hands in your pockets, deliberately, and to greet or say goodbye with a smile. If you’re a woman, just wave for hi or goodbye. Unless you’re buddies, or the Prime Minister of Australia, don’t elbow greet or part. Don’t want to look like you’re trying too hard.

How are you? in this way, without a frown, will open many doors you didn’t know were there. Just say, “How are you?” to any stranger whose eye you catch, and then open the door. Stay distant, and if he or she catches your eye again, nod and smile. Once this rapport has been established, you can move to the next phase of the acquaintance. Now, for that, you need a dating book.