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8 Insanely Effective Ways To Connect With Anyone You Meet

8 Insanely Effective Ways To Connect With Anyone You Meet

It all starts with connection. Connection is how friendships begin, how love grows, and how we support other on life’s journey. Connection helps us to be better lovers and better parents. It enables us to make more of an impact in people’s lives and greatly enriches our own lives. Connection allows us to grow in our careers — if we can connect with others, we can close the deal, encourage our coworkers, and communicate more effectively.

Connecting with others and building a tribe of encouraging, supportive, passionate people is incredibly essential to an awesome life.

Connecting with people who are similar to us is relatively easy. When we have common interests and personalities, we “get” each other. Making connections with people who are very different from us, however, is sometimes quite challenging. Yet it’s important to be able to connect with people who have different strengths than we do.

Here are 8 ways to connect with anyone you meet.

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1. Pay attention

When someone is talking to you, listen. Period. When you don’t listen, it makes the other person feel like you don’t care. If you’re not sure about your listening skills, ask friends and family if they feel like you listen when you have conversations with them.

When you’re listening, make eye contact. When you look away frequently, check your phone, or scan the room when someone’s talking to you, it appears that you’re not listening and you destroy the conversation.

2. Seek feedback

To improve your ability to instantly connect with others, seek feedback on your communication skills. One great way to do this is to join a speaking group such as Toastmasters. Toastmasters groups give you opportunities to speak and get helpful feedback from group members regarding your message delivery, body language, and pace. By learning how to be a more effective speaker, you will be on your way to connecting with others.

3. Ask questions

In every conversation, focus on getting to know the other person. People love to talk about themselves. Have you ever met someone and thought, “Wow, that person is awesome” and realized you hardly learned anything about him or her? Chances are, it’s because that person was focused on getting to know you — you were likely asked a lot of questions and spend a good amount of time happily talking about yourself. Be the person in the conversation who asks the questions. Allow others to open up to you and share about themselves.

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If you know ahead of time who you’ll be meeting with, do some research to learn about them. This can add depth to your questions and improve your connection.

4. Remember their name

We’ve all met people who say “I’m so bad with names.” That’s not a good way to start forming a connection. Do your best to remember the names of the people you meet. Repeat their name several times, associate it with something memorable or funny (in your head), introduce them to others so you need to state their name out loud — whatever you need to do to remember their name, do it! Remembering who you’re talking to is a key to making them feel important and connect with them.

5. Don’t pretend you know everything

In this article, Graham Young describes the difficulty people have with this concept. He writes, “When talking with others, we often want to show that we are educated and knowledgeable. It can be hard for some people to admit they are learning something new for the first time.” He describes how many leaders have a hard time taking advice because they feel they should know everything, and that employees try hard to prove themselves and not expose any of their personal weaknesses.This combination can cause communication breakdown because neither side acknowledges what the other side tells them. When this connection is dysfunctional, growth and progress are limited. Graham’s advice is to be aware of your ego and work on preventing it from controlling how you behave. Be willing to learn from others and take advice.

When you converse with others, don’t pretend you know everything about everything. It turns people off and decreases your ability to connect with them.

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6. Care about others

Nothing else really matters if you don’t act like you care about those around you. Add value to their lives. Go out of your way to help them. Be encouraging, positive, uplifting, and supportive. Say thank you for small things and big things. Whether you send a text, call them, write a note, or give a gift, frequently thank others for helping you and for who they are in general. People love feeling appreciated and cared about.

7. See a room full of friends

When you enter a room, picture everyone there as friends to meet instead of strangers. This will decrease the intimidation factor. Plus, if you’re showing up at the same event or know some of the same people, you probably have something in common with them. Greet them as if they are friends.

8. Connect in person

In today’s world, you can definitely start connecting with others online, but nothing beats getting together in person. Get out from behind your desk and spend time with people at your favorite inspiring places.

Connecting with people can greatly change your life and the lives of others.

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My challenge for you today is to make an effort to connect with someone — then send me a note at kerry@yourstreamlinedlife.com and tell me how it went.

Featured photo credit: Smile because you want to/Rory MacLeod via flickr.com

More by this author

Dr. Kerry Petsinger

Entrepreneur, Mindset & Performance Coach, & Doctor of Physical Therapy

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Last Updated on August 16, 2018

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

10 Ways To Step Out Of Your Comfort Zone And Enjoy Taking Risks

The ability to take risks by stepping outside your comfort zone is the primary way by which we grow. But we are often afraid to take that first step.

In truth, comfort zones are not really about comfort, they are about fear. Break the chains of fear to get outside. Once you do, you will learn to enjoy the process of taking risks and growing in the process.

Here are 10 ways to help you step out of your comfort zone and get closer to success:

1. Become aware of what’s outside of your comfort zone

What are the things that you believe are worth doing but are afraid of doing yourself because of the potential for disappointment or failure?

Draw a circle and write those things down outside the circle. This process will not only allow you to clearly identify your discomforts, but your comforts. Write identified comforts inside the circle.

2. Become clear about what you are aiming to overcome

Take the list of discomforts and go deeper. Remember, the primary emotion you are trying to overcome is fear.

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How does this fear apply uniquely to each situation? Be very specific.

Are you afraid of walking up to people and introducing yourself in social situations? Why? Is it because you are insecure about the sound of your voice? Are you insecure about your looks?

Or, are you afraid of being ignored?

3. Get comfortable with discomfort

One way to get outside of your comfort zone is to literally expand it. Make it a goal to avoid running away from discomfort.

Let’s stay with the theme of meeting people in social settings. If you start feeling a little panicked when talking to someone you’ve just met, try to stay with it a little longer than you normally would before retreating to comfort. If you stay long enough and practice often enough, it will start to become less uncomfortable.

4. See failure as a teacher

Many of us are so afraid of failure that we would rather do nothing than take a shot at our dreams.

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Begin to treat failure as a teacher. What did you learn from the experience? How can you take that lesson to your next adventure to increase your chance of success?

Many highly successful people failed plenty of times before they succeeded. Here’re some examples:

10 Famous Failures to Success Stories That Will Inspire You to Carry On

5. Take baby steps

Don’t try to jump outside your comfort zone, you will likely become overwhelmed and jump right back in.

Take small steps toward the fear you are trying to overcome. If you want to do public speaking, start by taking every opportunity to speak to small groups of people. You can even practice with family and friends.

Take a look at this article on how you can start taking baby steps:

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The Number One Secret to Life Success: Baby Steps

6. Hang out with risk takers

There is no substitute for this step. If you want to become better at something, you must start hanging out with the people who are doing what you want to do and start emulating them. (Here’re 8 Reasons Why Risk Takers Are More Likely To Be Successful).

Almost inevitably, their influence will start have an effect on your behavior.

7. Be honest with yourself when you are trying to make excuses

Don’t say “Oh, I just don’t have the time for this right now.” Instead, be honest and say “I am afraid to do this.”

Don’t make excuses, just be honest. You will be in a better place to confront what is truly bothering you and increase your chance of moving forward.

8. Identify how stepping out will benefit you

What will the ability to engage in public speaking do for your personal and professional growth? Keep these potential benefits in mind as motivations to push through fear.

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9. Don’t take yourself too seriously

Learn to laugh at yourself when you make mistakes. Risk taking will inevitably involve failure and setbacks that will sometimes make you look foolish to others. Be happy to roll with the punches when others poke fun.

If you aren’t convinced yet, check out these 6 Reasons Not to Take Life So Seriously.

10. Focus on the fun

Enjoy the process of stepping outside your safe boundaries. Enjoy the fun of discovering things about yourself that you may not have been aware of previously.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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