10 Tips for Improving Social Interaction by Tim Bryce
Nobody wants to feel unwelcome or unappreciated. If they do, they will feel like outcasts and less likely to help you with something. The objective is to make people feel at home. This can be accomplished with a simple greeting or a firm handshake while looking at the person directly in the eyes.
It is easy to detect when a greeting is sincere or routine. Your goal is to appear genuinely concerned about the person. This can be achieved by:
Complimenting on some personal attribute of the person (e.g., clothes, hair, car),
Inquiring about a person's family (e.g., birthday observed, anniversary, graduation, pets, health, etc.),
Asking about an event the person recently experienced (e.g., attendance at an event, participation in a volunteer organization charity, a new job or project assignment, etc.),
Commenting on something newsworthy - community, sports, weather ("What did you think about...?").
Such greetings are an expression of your interest in the person. Too often greetings become routine and, as such, less credible. Try to break it up.
A good, basic greeting can work wonders in building cooperation between people.