HOW I LEARNED TO CONNECT WITH PEOPLE
If it is true that almost everything we become and accomplish in life is with and through other people, then the ability to create rapport with them is the most important skill we can learn. Looking back at the early and middle stages of my career, I identified six practices that helped me to connect with others. I trust that they will be beneficial to you in honing your skills as a connector.
1. I Understood the Value of Connecting With Others.
As a young leader, I quickly bumped up against my personal limitations. I realized that what I could accomplish on my own paled in comparison to what I could get done by linking up with others. I became aware that my influence depended upon my ability to connect with those around me, and I switched my mindset from being a solo producer to being a people developer.
2. I Studied and Imitated Connectors That I Admired.
As a young leader, I had an insatiable appetite to learn from the leaders who seemed effortlessly to connect with others. First, I looked at how the person connected. That is, what strategies did she employ to get through to the audience? Second, I observed how long the person connected. It’s far easier to catch someone’s attention than it is to hold his attention for an extended period of time. As I studied the great connectors, I attempted to incorporate their methods into my own communication.
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