My story with Ivo starts in Berlin in July. Sweaty, sticky, dusty Berlin in the summer.
Backpacker hostel. Hung over on a Wednesday, unemployed, just moved from London to look for a job. Exploring Berlin every day with new friends made in hostels. Sitting in the 8-man room in Kreuzberg barely managing to connect the spotty WiFi. Ivo, recruiter for a lot of the best startups in Berlin, calls through.
And starts asking a lot of questions about my past experience. "Whatever man, just send them my CV", I'm thinking. He's not technical ... so what I'm saying will probably either not be understood and/or misremembered anyway.
But despite a bumpy start to the conversation and me giving every indication that I'd rather not be talking to him, Ivo persists. And with his disarming demeanour, he manages to get a 30-minute conversation out of me.
In the process Ivo connects me to the job I didn't even have the courage to apply to. I get the offer and am exstatic. Thank you Ivo.
Fast-forward 6 months. The startup has imploded and I'm feeling it's finally time to make my push into the freelancing world. After handing in my resignation, I shoot Ivo a quick email whether he knew something. 3 months prior Ivo took the time to follow up with how I liked the job -- I felt like he cared so I wanted to let him know what happened.
We schedule a call but when Thursday 4pm rolls around I'm just waking up from a nap (hello funemployment) and really don't feel like talking to anyone.
I rationalise the resistance ... "Recruiters don't have the good opportunities anyway". "It's probably gonna be a waste of time". And so Skype rings.
And rings. 410pm. 420pm. 434pm. But Ivo persists. Skype is still ringing. Boop-boop boop-boop.. At this point 2 things have kicked in: My internal "detect-my-own-BS-o-meter" making me more aware that talking to him is actually probably what I want to be doing. And a feeling of pity ... he really wants to talk to me... Fine, OK.
And in the process Ivo gets me the freelance contract that finally makes me financially independent enough to pursue my dreams. Thank you Ivo.
But I hear you saying "Ivo is just a recruiter ... isn't this his job?"
But having talked to so many recruiters over the years, they failed where Ivo succeeded. What makes him different?
Ivo is genuinely interested in you. Ivo listens patiently and he never interrupts. His calm demeanour disarms you. Rude remarks don't even ping on his radar, Ivo forgives.
It is for this reason that in my personal relationships I strive to be more Ivo. To not take my asocial moods so seriously. To be interested in others. To not say too much. To not take things personally. To be more extroverted. To be more forgiving. To persist.
To be more Ivo.
 (unlike lying in bed)
 Everyone is plagued by insecurities and self-doubts. If we want to give them the power to connect to us
we must make them feel like we care to hear what they are saying. Maybe sometimes not for the content, but because time spent talking bonds and
builds familiarity & trust.