“If you would win a man over to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.” – Abraham Lincoln

Clicking With People

Talk is easy. Talk is cheap, they say. Everyone talks, but not everyone connects with others. We could probably fill a library with all the words we say in a given year.  Additionally, we are bombarded with messages everywhere we look. We are literally flooded with messages: email, text messages, facebook, twitter, blogs, newspapers, and magazines. It seems that everyone is fighting to get our attention. Yes, they are sending us information, but is connection happening?

But really clicking and connecting with people is very different. Connecting is not about getting a message out or talking just to be heard; it is relating to people. It is striving to identify with people in order to build a relationship.  This is why talk is cheap because talking only focuses on the one doing the talking or sending the message and not on connecting with the other person, audience or customers as the case may be.  Imagine how much better marriages would be, how much better work relations would be or how happier life would be with friends if people learned to connect with one another instead of competing for airtime

When people learn to connect with one another it can massively improve relations and improve their overall accomplishments both personal and professional. In fact, if you are deficient in the skill of being able to connect with people, it will cost you in your relationships. In business and in personal relationships, people do not really care how much you know, but they do care how much you care about them.

“If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.” – Zig Ziglar

Connecting Is Other – Focused

Connecting is never about us (Me, Myself and I). It’s about the person or people we are with. If we want to connect with others, we need to first get over ourselves. We need to shift our focus from us and our concerns towards others. Doing so requires changing our naturally self-centered mindset. It is normal for us to focus on ourselves but, in order to relate and build strong connections with others, we need to shift our thinking.

Why is it so difficult for us to shift our focus onto others?  Why do we go back to our default attitude of fighting for self-promotion?

There are three reasons for this.

1. Lack of Maturity

I don’t mean to target anyone and I also include myself in this category. We are all immature and self-protective at times. But maturity is characterized by the ability to see things from other people’s points of view and to act for and in their best interest. It is our natural tendency to want to feel important and seek the best for ourselves. This struggle against our own self-centeredness follows us throughout our lives. Sometimes we gain the upper hand and move towards being other focused and sometimes we slip back into our self-promoting ways.

2. Not Valuing People

We can not add value to other people if we do not first value people. This may seem like common sense but often we can become blind to the way that we see other people and to how we treat them. We can easily get so caught up in our own agenda that we give people the impression that they are just obstacles in our path.  We can easily get focused on being busy, having to get things done or said that we ignore what other people are trying to say. We hear with half an ear and our brain is on overdrive thinking about what we need to say or do.

3. Insecurity

When we operate from a position of insecurity, it is because we are too focused on what other people with think, say or do. We tend to overvalue the opinions of others, exaggerating their importance. Being insecure can hinder us from truly connecting with other people because it puts us in a protective and defensive position rather than on an equal footing with those we desire to connect with.  Being insecure can also produce all kinds of counterproductive behaviors that are intended to compensate for our lack of security.

What Does a Connector Do?

“If you would win a man over to your cause, first convince him that you are his sincere friend.” – Abraham Lincoln

“Some singers want the audience to love them. I love the audience.” – Àlucianno Pavorotti

“You can’t make the other fellow feel important in your presence if you secrety think he is a nobody.” – Les Giblin

1. Connectors step outside of themselves and see the person in front of them.

2. Connectors seek first to establish rapport and relationship by focusing on the other person – listening and caring without any agenda.

3. Connectors help people to know and feel that they genuinely care about them.

4 Connectors seek mutual benefit, communication, and partnership.

Through connecting people to grow, prosper, become more creative and generally live better. Connectors seek to help others and foster healthy relationships whether personal or professional.

Are You a Connector?

I believe we are all, natural connectors, but that our equally natural tendency to self promote gets in the way. Sometimes we succeed at building healthy connections and sometimes we don’t do so well.  It is always a challenge to step outside ourselves and focus on others and their lives. It is challenging, but, in the end, it is also so very rewarding. I hope this post has inspired you to get out and connect. The world is waiting for your smile.

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Diana Lynne’s passions are family, traveling, learning, and pursuing a debt-free life. She also loves hanging out with family, friends and being with her dog Skye. Diana is a Quebec City girl. who loves living life.  You can connect with her through Livingandstuff.ca