One of the reasons I’m having lunch with 500 strangers is because I want to improve my interpersonal skills.

So my third lunch companion, Gordana Bailey, turned out to be a perfect choice.

Gordana is a BDM for Allianz Australia, and manages 3,000 mortgage brokers, which means a large part of her role involves networking and building relationships.

Gordana is a superb conversationalist. One reason is that she’s a great listener. Another is that she pays attention to people’s body language.

When you remember the name of someone you met months earlier, it can make a really positive impression. So when Gordana meets someone, she makes a conscious effort to associate their name with something memorable, such as a famous person with the same name.

Gordana also pays attention to their stories – so even if she can’t recall that person’s name several months later, she can show she cares by bringing up something that person said last time.

Want proof that Gordana is much better with people than me? She convinced the cafe staffer to bring her lunch to her when it was ready – while I had to go to the counter and fetch my own!