How to Connect With OthersJul 04, 2022
Last week’s post talked about connection and how it is so important to make time for connection in our busy lives. Human beings crave connection and belonging. This week, I want to share with you 5 tips on how you can form connections with others, and/or strengthen the connections you already have.
- Block out time in your schedule to spend with your family and/or friends.
It might seem impersonal and unnatural to have to specifically etch out time to spend with loved ones but doing that is better than not getting to spend time with them at all. In today’s world, it’s actually a lot more common among working professionals to be forced to do such things. Try this out and see if it actually works!
- Listen not only with your head, but also with your heart.
All I mean by this is to try and empathize with the people you engage with. Hear not only the words they are seeing, but try and understand that the words they speak are a reflection of who they are and all the steps they’ve taken to get to where they are today. Do not judge and remember that you’ve never walked a step in their shoes, so give their words the benefit of the doubt.
- Ask questions that you genuinely care about knowing the answer to.
We often walk through the office asking our co-workers questions like, “How are you?”, “Do you have plans for the weekend?”, “How’s your wife/husband/children?”. Most of the time, we’re simply making small talk to avoid awkward silences. We don’t really care about the answers and we often times don’t even listen, making it impossible for the other person to answer honestly. Make sure that when you ask a question to a co-worker, friend, family member, or anyone else, that you are ready to listen with your heart and that you care enough to remember their answer for more than a half second. It will allow others to open up to you and you to open up to others, thereby promoting connection.
- Be a friendly and inviting face to others.
Body language is very important to how other perceive you and your current mood and state of mind. A warm smile goes a very long way in making a person feel comfortable enough to approach you. Other ways you can try and make yourself more approachable is not looking at your phone while walking, making eye contact, not speeding past others, and maybe even a friendly greeting or hand gesture like a wave. Allowing people to approach you gives them the confidence to connect with you and may encourage them to become more open and inviting to others.
- Remember important things about people, especially their name.
After taking all the steps above, you’re likely to meet many more people and it might become difficult to keep track of all the things you spoke about. That’s totally normal and no one expects you to remember every second of every conversation. But, there are some really important things, like a person’s name, that you should make an effort to remember. I’m positive that you can if you give it importance and really try. This makes a huge difference in allowing for connections to develop.
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