‘I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard and valued; when they can give and receive without judgement; and when they drive substance and strength from the relationship’
How do you move from an acquaintanceship to a meaningful relationship?
I am often asked by my clients and peers this question.
They understand that when you want to inspire, motivate, influence, and share part of who you are, the power of connection is vital.
Do you ever wonder why….
- Some seem to flourish and move forward with their careers while you may feel stuck?
- No one seems to think your idea will work.
- Your partner, kids or friends seem not be paying attention to you?
- You feel as if no one is listening?
A relationship deepens when two people get to know each other better. This means sharing important experiences, revealing yourself personally, and connecting on an emotional-not just professional level.
I believe that relationships are dynamic. They rarely stay the same. They either improve or evolve, or they will fade, and interactions become less frequent and meaningful.
This 2-part series on the power of connection will help you move from ‘just talking’ to connecting when you communicate.
The real questions to ask yourself are…
- How can I make my words matter and influence any outcome?
- How can I really connect with others?
But what is Connection?
Connecting with others is a sense of being open and available to another person.
It is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that raises your influence with them.
For an in depth look at how to gain influence, check out my blog:
‘4 Steps to Becoming a Positive Influencer’ on VictoryPivot.com
The good news is that connection is a skill that can be learned.
Here are 3 principles to connect at a higher level:
#1. DEEP LISTENING:
I can share with you from experience, that the
Communicator who listens best, learns the most.
Author Thich Nhat Hanh believes the following about deep listening:
‘Deep listening is the kind of listening that can help relieve the suffering of another person’.
If you are doing all of the talking, you are not gathering or exposing yourself to any new ideas.
As a career coach, I have discovered that it’s the person asking the questions who is in true control of the conversation.
My advice to creating powerful connections…
- GET CURIOUS
- GET GREAT AT ASKING THOUGHTFUL AND TIMELY QUESTIONS.
- WEAVE THESE QUESTIONS CAREFULLY INTO YOUR CONVERSATIONS
Here are some meaningful questions that can be asked when attempting to connect with someone on a personal level:
- What would you like to be remembered for?
- What has been your greatest accomplishment?
- What has brought you the most fulfillment in your life?
- What was the happiest day of your life?
- What do you like best about working at your company?
- Where did you grow up? What was it like?
- Who have been influential role models or mentors to you?
When asking these questions, make sure to follow up by asking “Why ?”, to really dig deep.
Do not ask all 7 questions in one conversation.
These can be weaved into the discussion over the course of multiple interactions.
- In your journal, jot down these 7 questions and let them be your guide during your next conversation (s) at work (one on one or team discussions).
- After the conversation(s) write down the answers to the 7 questions, that you have uncovered through deep listening.
If you are struggling to get them right, it’s OK.
Next time be more mindful, curious, and thoughtful with your listening and questioning.
- To add context, write down YOUR own personal answers to the 7 questions.
- This will allow you to establish a deeper connection with yourself.
Another consideration when it comes to deep listening is that it is one of the finest acts of respect you can show another person.
This is especially true in a society of people who adore and value the sound of their own voice.
Being fully present and genuinely engaged as you listen and ask meaningful and carefully placed questions, makes the other person feel important, understood, and safe with you.
This one act can accelerate trust in a massive way.
This is because trust is the foundation of a great relationship, whether in the workplace or within your own personal life.
#2 RAW VULNERABILITY
As a coach, this is the area where I find my clients wanting to spend the most time discussing and understanding.
I believe sincere vulnerability is a rare trait. This means that once you master and implement, you will differentiate yourself from everyone in your field.
American Poet, Essayist and Songwriter, Criss Jamie writes:
‘To share your weakness is to make yourself vulnerable’.
I also recommend his book of poems called “Venus in Arms” that speaks to sharing his true and authentic self.
When you remove your social mask, which most people wear to look cool, hide fear and avoid rejection, others will begin to want to be friends with you, follow you or begin to listen to you.
Allowing yourself to be real, gives others permission to be real.
This is powerful way to establish a connection!
Create a culture of people working together around an energized and enthusiastic purpose, so they can bring their genuine and best selves to the mission.
By making an effective connection, you create the magic that makes a true movement through unguarded openness that demonstrates trust.
#3: KEEPING YOUR PROMISE
To be a great leader and influencer be sure to follow through on each promise you make.
Whether it’s to deliver excellence on a work project or having dinner with your family every night – keeping your word boosts your credibility in any social circle.
Set positive intentions by keeping promises and you will establish connection at a higher level and become a positive force in the lives of those who are important to you.
Even more important is keeping the promises you make to yourself.
These are the promises that pave the path to self love and respect.
When I am thinking about wavering on the promises I keep to myself, whether it’s about career, financial or personal goals, I think of the powerful quote about responsibility from Marie Forleo…
‘To be responsible, keep your promises to others. To be successful keep your promises to yourself’.
Below are 4 ways to make yourself accountable and reinforce keeping personal promises.
You will need a journal for this exercise:
- Write Down the Promise: Be specific and sincere about your promise. There is always magic and accountability when you write things down.
- Make it Visible: Put your written promises in a spot where they are visible. In your journal, on a sticky note, on your vision board or mobile device.
- Keep a Progress Journal: Reflect on your wins, especially small ones and note when you veer off track. Chart where you need to improve.
- Keep your List Short: Rig your list in your favour by keeping your promises short term. For example, if you want to start exercising regularly, make a promise to yourself that you will go to the gym 3 days a week for a month instead of the next 12 months. A year may be too daunting a task and you may find it difficult to accomplish. Your promises should be tracked in manageable chunks.
Practice doing this and you’ll experience explosive growth in your willpower, confidence, and ability to get things done. Your growth in self respect will transform into self love.
Start Connecting Today!
You can learn to connect on a deeper level because it is a skill, not a natural talent. Embrace the 3 connecting principles and your relationships will become stronger and more meaningful.
In summary, you can build deeper connections through:
- Listening deeply and being curious.
- Raw vulnerability
- By being engaged .in the moment.
- Keeping your promises to others.
- Keeping promises to yourself!
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These tools will help you grow, reach higher heights so you can become the best version of you!
I sincerely wish you the best on your journey to enhance your life!
George Andreas, Founder