Whilst communicating will make us better people, connecting with people could make you a world leader. Even if you think you’ve learnt the fine art of making connections, try these three steps to make sure you’re on the right path.
No, we’re not talking about how to like more social posts or send more text messages, this is about real life interactions in person. In one of our recent posts ‘Are We A Generation Consumed By Social Media?’ we brought to light to the fact that many of us are losing the art of connecting with people, and finding personal interactions more difficult, so here are a few tips to sharpen up your interpersonal skills.
Lately we have discussed life coaching methods and I am going to further that thinking to talk about leadership and the strength of relationships. Think about someone you know that you consider to be a leader. Some people are appointed as leaders, while others just naturally draw people in, gaining more followers. Think about how this leader gains their supporters. The reason this person has true followers in a considerable number of cases won’t be because they throw money at the situation, or because they’re strong or good looking. It’s most likely because their interactions are so on point that they make you feel like you’re the only person in the room. They build that personal connection without actually knowing you, that draws in true admiration.
If you want to be in a position of leadership you need to harness these interactions in a way that can not only help you open up to connect with people, but also urge people to be more willing to connect with you. The three steps below will help you recognise how you interact with people and allow you to be more aware of yourself.
The first step to recognising how you’re connecting with other people is to look over what you’re doing. Reflect on your behaviours and everyday interactions that can contribute, or where you are withdrawn from a situation. Take notice of yourself during problematic situations, and write a few notes to see what your first responses tend to be.
We tend to have our own take on a situation, whether it’s good or bad. If we recount the situation to a friend or a loved one, very often they’ll be on our side because we all have our own version of events. Having a true connection with someone means realising that your view of the world isn’t the only one and that your assumptions aren’t always right. To have better relationships admit that you are speaking from your point of view and don’t be stubborn. By doing this the person won’t immediately be defensive and the conversation will be more equal and respectful from the get go.
This isn’t something you can always do in real time, but when you’re self reflecting it’s worth making notes of where you can improve. Take a situation and create a two column chart. In the first column detail what you said, and in the second column express how you were thinking and feeling – try and also detail what wasn’t said and maybe should have been. If your ‘what was said’ column is longer than your ‘what wasn’t said’ column you might need to assess how often you’re speaking your mind and whether it’s contributing to the connection you’re trying to make. Know that the first column is all that people are going to know about you so when looking over the second column be more mindful of how you can attain your goals when engaging with others.
These three processes may seem like they’re mostly about becoming more aware of your thoughts and actions, but that’s precisely how you can strengthen the way you interact with people. By assessing your interactions, you will naturally draw in better connections and form greater relationships which will in turn reinforce your ability to become a leader.
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