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About a dozen students came to a recent evening class at Social Fluency to practice the basics of rapport—how to start conversations, change topics, and exchange contact information. “To make friends you've got to be able to take risks and put yourself out there a bit,” he says.

“And I've typically not been that good at that.” Ken Murch feels the same way.

Right now, he says he would have trouble “going up to someone on the street like an attractive girl or a high-powered CEO and introducing yourself kind of out in the cold with nothing leading up to it.” You could say, who does?

But Bay Area tech workers say that for them cold introductions are sometimes necessary.

It means a group of people who want join forces, improve themselves, and get ahead.

In many cases, the ultimate goal is a successful tech company.

A lack of communication skills is only part of the problem she says.

Many say they can't escape from the isolated tech bubble that they live in.

It has questions about the food at the cafeteria or relationship with a boss.

“Fifty percent of the people we teach are either new to the city, new to their job or new to the role that they are in,” Kjack says—rough life adjustments for anyone.

Not everyone in the Social Fluency class is struggling to adapt.

Many suffer tech dependence—whether it's to the phone, internet, Facebook, or online dating websites.

So one of the first things she ends up doing is trying to help them unplug.

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