A leadership coach asked me the other day how I get people to talk to me. When I told him that I simply say, “Hello,” he wasn’t buying it and asked what’s behind my hello that puts people instantly at ease?

So I shared an excerpt from an email, which I had received a week earlier from a stranger who I sat next to flying to California:

“I greeted you with hello as you were sitting down next to me, and you said hello with you voice. You also looked me directly in my eyes, and your eyes said, ‘Hey, thanks for saying hello to me. I return your warm greeting.’  Instantly I knew we could converse without either of us feeling it was an intrusion. Pretty quickly, we found common ground to talk about things and make each other laugh.”

What’s behind your hello?