From super geek to social chic, Russy Ross is leading the charge on all things social and dating and fast becoming one of the city’s movers and shakers.

With the vision to disrupt the social norm, challenge the way we think about social connection and re-define the way we see dating in today’s modern world, Russ has been taking Sydney by storm and says he’s been having a sh!t load of fun doing it.

We had a quick coffee with Russ and found out more…

What is “The Social Collective” that we’re hearing so much about?

The Social Collective is a social coaching company designed to help people with their social and dating lives, and if I’m honest it was born out of sheer frustration. I found that in today’s modern world we’re just not forming good or meaningful social connections with people any more. We connect with people by tweeting, posting, sharing, and liking things. Talking, flirting, laughing, banter and engaging in real life feels like a lost art these days and it’s a shame; so I launched The Social collective.

What does The Social Collective teach?

We believe that ‘confidence is competence’ and therefore it is something you can learn, adopt and internalise. Back in the day the younger Russ, (and we’re talking 18 years old here) used to honestly believe that all the popular kids at school were born with it (what ever ‘IT’ was, charisma, charm, being loved by all the girls in the school). Well here’s the big secret reveal… THEY ARE NOT. I quickly realised you only needed to master four core pillars to win, and this forms the core of what we teach today.

What is the secret to talking to anyone, anywhere, any time?

Honestly… ‘Know thy self’. The biggest challenge people tend to face when they are socialising, (and one our students have often voice in coaching), is a fear of rejection and a fear of judgement, both of which are driven by a feeling of inadequacy and a mind-set of ‘not feeling good enough’ You MUST Keep in mind that you bring a lot to the table, that you are a valuable and interesting individual with stories and ideas and experiences. ‘Know thy self’ then learn how to confidently express it.

What is an icebreaker that works every time?

I’m a huge fan of the good ol’ fashion “hello, how’s it going?” I love that there is no rhyme or reason to it other than; I want to talk to you. No excuses, no lines, no ulterior-motives.

That said when it comes to ice breakers there is no magic bullet, the people change, the environment changes and the intentions change. I would say keep it cheeky, keep it playful, and keep it respectful. If you’re brave, why not try a genuine compliment, they always go down a treat, however at ALL COSTS be genuine, be honest and don’t do it for the sake of doing it.

“Excuse me, hi, I know this is a little forward of me but, you have an incredible sense of style, (Pause let them say thank you), Are you a fashion student? ”

How do you turn a casual chat into a deeper connection?

My number one rule is to take genuine interest in the person you are talking ot.
People love to talk about themselves and they love it even more when they see that you care about what they have to say.

Also, when the conversation allows you to, give a little piece of yourself. Tell a story, recount an experience or share a personal anecdote, give them something about you. This is like the universal sign giving the person you are talking to permission to open up.

What will make a person stand out from the crowd?

As human beings we are very much attracted to the behaviour of others over looks or status. If you want to stand out then you need to become the most social person in the room.

Talk to everyone, infiltrate cliques, mingle amongst all the different social circles, make an effort with individuals (take a genuine interest), talk to the people standing on their own, make friends with the bar tender, door man, host, owner, organiser and navigate your way around the social environment. You will soon become the person that owns the room and what comes with that is priceless. Whether you are a lad or a lady, this is charm at its best.

WHO should look up The Social Collective?

Our followers and our clients are very cool people, ranging from Sydney’s awesome nerds and geeks (just like me) to the city’s most eligible singletons.

We have worked with some really awesome people who want to have better conversation skills, want to learn to be more engaging, want to get over the anxiety of meeting new people, want to learn to effortlessly break the ice with anyone, and want to really grow into a strong, independent, charismatic and socially confident individuals.

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