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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

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Dante Munnis

content manager

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you realize you aren’t really happy about this, wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while but I learned the art of saying no. Saying ‘no’ meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. I started to manage my time more around my own needs and interests. When that happened, I became a lot happier. And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying ‘no,’ you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey considered one of the most successful women in the world confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything. It was only when she realized that after years of struggling with saying no, I finally got to this question: “What do I want?”

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

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Warren Buffett views no as essential to his success. He said,

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made ‘no’ a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say ‘no.’

From an early age, we are conditioned to say ‘yes.’ We said yes probably hundreds of time in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work. We said yes get a promotion. We said yes to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because it feels better to help someone. We say yes because it can seem like the right thing to do. We say yes because we think that is key to success. And we say yes because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist like the boss.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves. At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we feel guilty we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message no matter where we turn is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

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How to Say No Without Feeling Guilty

Deciding to add the word ‘no’ to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say ‘no’ but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of ‘no’ that you could finally create more time for things you care about. But let’s be honest, using the word ‘no’ doesn’t come easily for many people.

The 3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time especially you haven’t done it much in the past will feel awkward.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

Remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it, who else knows about all of the demands on your time? No one. Only you are at the center of all of these requests. are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying ‘No’ Means Saying ‘Yes’ to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word ‘no’ into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying ‘no’ is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because FOMO even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

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Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better.

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say ‘No’

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say ‘yes’ because we worry about how others will respond or the consequences of saying no or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose respect from others. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying ‘no’ can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way. You might disappoint someone initially but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to.

4. When the Request Comes In, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time, or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say ‘no.’ There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your ‘No’ with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

A clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

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6. Consider How to Use a Modified ‘No’

If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” giving you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

Final Thoughts

Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

Use the request as a fresh request to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself. If you are the one placing the demand on yourself, try to evaluate the demand as if it were coming from somewhere else.

Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project but not by working all weekend. Or, tell someone in your family you can’t loan them money again because they never paid you back the last time. You’ll find yourself much happier.

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Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

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