Advertising
Advertising

10 Best Ways To Build Long Term Connections With People You Сan’t Hold With

10 Best Ways To Build Long Term Connections With People You Сan’t Hold With

Being connected to a network of personal and professional resources is critical to growth and success in all parts of our lives. It’s important that we continue to build these networks throughout adulthood, forming new relationships, but also maintaining those that we have nurtured over time. The success of relationships comes from the right approach. Instead of thinking “what’s in it for me,” start with the attitude of “how can I help and be supportive of this individual?” You will then build strong relationships that others want to continue.

Building Your Connections

As you reach out to others to form initial connections, there are 5 ways to promote your personal brand and show others that you have value to offer.

Speak:

You do not want to monopolize conversations, either in person or online; however, it is important that others understand your passions and your interests. Your enthusiasm for what you do and what is important to you sends a strong message to others – you are someone they want to know. So, whether you are giving your 30-second elevator speech to a stranger at a wedding reception or presenting to a large group, show your energy and passion and speak to how what you do helps others. You want to present yourself as a servant, not as one who wants to be served.

Advertising

Be a Participant:

Join one or two professional organizations; and also a club or group that relates to your personal interests. Be selective and keep these memberships to a small number, so that you can participate fully. This is how you get to know other people and they get to know you. Joining too many spreads yourself too thin, and if they are too large, they become impersonal. The connections you make will all be superficial – acquaintances, not relationships.

Publish:

Whether it is on your blog or social media platforms, writing is a great way to present your passion to others. And in that writing, provide value to others. What value do you bring to the table? What solutions can you provide for others? Can you entertain or inspire with what you write? There are the things that will draw others who want to become a part of your network – personal or professional.

University Connections – Past and Present:

There are no doubt connections that you made during your college days, and you have lost touch since. Find those folks on social media and renew those relationships. If you are currently in college, start building connections now – they may be of great value in your future.

Advertising

Volunteer:

Becoming a valued member of your community through volunteering. It’s an excellent way to connect with others and to feel good about accomplishing something that gives back. If you can become a leading supporter of a charitable cause, you can promote that cause online as well, and make new connections in a broader community. And, if you have a business, and your business supports a charity, you will build a large community of supporters among millennials and Gen Y’ers. Social responsibility is a big factor when these two generations make decision about who to do business with.

Maintaining Your Connections

Once you have many connections, you want to maintain them, whether they are personal or professional. An important reminder however: treat your connections as individuals who you support and serve in some way, not as people who can only promote or help you. There are 5 ways to do this:

Create or Keep Creating:

If you don’t find an organization that meets your needs for networking, create one – either physical or virtual. As a founder, you will have immediate credibility and can become an influencer in your niche. And, as a founder, you will have faster and greater access to other influencers – a great way to grow your network of connections.

Advertising

Express Gratitude and Congratulations:

Birthdays, weddings, new babies, and other holidays should always be remembered, even if only with an e-card. This keeps all of your relationships intact, and knowing that you have remembered and taken the time is important. Expressing gratitude in some way is also critical. Even if a connection introduced you to someone new, gratitude must be expressed. Nothing beats continued and regular communication in such positive ways.

Create Formalized Communication Methods:

Write articles that you regularly share; share great writing that others have produced, including those within your network; produce a newsletter that provides value to your tribe as a whole; recognize members of your network publicly when they accomplish something.

Plan Social Events:

Host informal gatherings a couple of times a year. If your local network is small, use your home; if large, find an informal gathering place. This puts you in regular contact with your connections and allows them to connect with one another as well. And, if you invite each person to bring another, look how you can widen your network by just one event.

Advertising

Telephone:

This may seem “old school” but it is very effective. Pick ten people each week, and call two each day, for a short 15-minute conversation. That’s 30 minutes a day that pays off handsomely in terms of deeper bonding and more enduring relationships.

Featured photo credit: Viktor Hanacek via picjumbo.com

More by this author

Dante Munnis

content manager

10 Powerful Hacks to Overcome Procrastination How to Avoid Stresses and Serious Health Problems Being a Busy and Working Student Connections 10 Best Ways To Build Long Term Connections With People You Сan’t Hold With

Trending in Communication

1 Is Living Together Before Marriage Good or Bad? 2 How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication 3 11 Facts About Volunteering That Will Surely Impress You 4 I Hate My Wife – Why a Husband Would Resent His Spouse 5 How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising
Advertising

Published on May 18, 2021

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

Advertising

Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

Advertising

Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

Advertising

Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

Advertising

This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

Advertising

Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

More Tips Improving Listening Skills

Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

Reference

Read Next