If you desire to advance your career, grow your business, or have more fulfilling relationships with friends and family it is going to require you to become better at building connections. Merely communicating is not sufficient.
In this day and age, we’re constantly bombarded with messages everywhere we look. Someone wants you to do this, buy that, or look at this. We’re pulled in so many different directions. Developing a genuine connection with others will set you apart from the rest as you pursue success. Connecting is the ability to identify with others and relate to them. Communication differs from this because we are all sending and receiving messages, but that does not mean we are connecting with others.
3 Ways To Create Better Connections With People
1. Have A Genuine Interest In Others
Most of the time, people who develop the best connections are those who care the most about others. In the past, I’ve had professors that did not seem to care about us as students, they were only there to do their job and to just collect their paycheck. It felt as if they were distant, cold, and only concerned with themselves. One time, I had a teacher give a class with his back to us the whole time. He just wrote away on his whiteboard and talked to the wall. I couldn’t believe my eyes. We as students immediately lost trust and respect for this professor without even thinking twice about it. I truly believe this was because he was only there to do his job and expected us to just give him attention. Should we have still done this? Absolutely! But compared to other professors that actually cared about creating an environment conducive to learning, you can’t really blame the students. As a leader you cannot expect respect to be given, it is earned, and it is earned through first displaying a genuine interest in others which leads to developing a connection.
2. Start With Why
As someone who is looking to develop connections with others, you must first lay the groundwork in which you want to connect with. Take a skyscraper for example. Before they ever start to build this massive structure they first dig into the ground and develop a solid foundation in which they can build upon.
Establishing a connection with others is no different. Before you can start to connect with people on what you actually want, you must first make your intentions clear. People will see it as more genuine. For example, if my professor would have said: “Class, you are all adults. I am not here to babysit you, I am here to educate and empower you instead. Therefore, my teaching style is different; I will mostly be writing on the board, but this is to teach you to listen and pay attention to what I am saying. I want to prepare you for life after college, and life won’t always give to your needs. I am here to help you and if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask.” Can you see how this simple statement to begin class would have created trust and an understanding among us? Even if we were to disagree with his methods, at least we would’ve shown respect and some of us might’ve tried to listen to the course the way the teacher intended it.
3. Ask Questions
To be an excellent connector you must master the art of putting the attention on others. This can be done by simply being good at asking questions. If connecting is building a bridge from me to you then questions are the roads we build to achieve that. By asking questions you make people feel more comfortable being around you. Give people a chance to share more about themselves and they will love you for it. When you ask questions, you are discovering someone else’s values. People will share with you what is important to them in their life and why they do what they do. Having a connection with someone is being able to identify and relate with others. If this is so, you should get an idea of where that person currently is in life by asking questions.
Hopefully, this article will help get you started in your quest to become better at building genuine connections with others. There is a fabulous book written by John Maxwell called “Everybody Communicates, Few Connect.” I highly recommend this book to everyone no matter what your profession is. It’s a life long journey and one that is an exciting one! To continue to dive deeper and deeper into a relationship and build upon your connection is one of the most fulfilling experiences you can have. So have fun with this and always continue to connect with people each day!