Three Easy Ways For Significant Connections
Would you believe me, if I told you how incredibly easy it is to bring people closer to you?
Despite our best efforts to be interesting and charming, we’re often spending too much energy over-thinking our communications with the people we’d like to become closer to. Searching for the right things to say at the right moments can be hard work! But the salt in the wound, is that despite all of our efforts in networking and relationship building, our success often doesn’t match our investment. We end up feeling frustrated at the lack of inner satisfaction.
A media executive I’m working with, told me that when networking, she spends a lot of time thinking about how to be interesting. She believes that if she’s entertaining then she’ll be remembered. And in the same breath admitted that she’s not having fun and ends up feeling stressed out afterwards.
Whether it’s with the person that we notice from across the room or the business connection and client with whom we would like a closer bond, or the partners with whom we would like to develop more depth and intimacy. There are some easy techniques for making those relationships flourish, and they are worth learning.
What is the secret to bringing people closer?
I’ve never been the alpha guy or the smartest guy in a room. But I’m a very curious person and that’s my greatest strength. As a leadership and relationship buiding expert, I’ve learned how to notice and listen more to what’s going on around me. In the process I learned a well kept secret: most people are attention starved. Let me say it again. Most people are not receiving the amount of attention they are really, really wanting although they might not admit it.
Knowing that is like having the other team’s playbook!
Think of yourself as an example. You are wanting to be noticed because there is something more you want. But when you start with your own needs, who is your attention really on? You! I invite you to read the remainder of this blog with your full attention on the people that you want to bring closer to you.
So, how do you use this secret ingredient?
Here are my top three tips:
1) Be More Curious Than Interesting.
Curiosity is one of the most underused human qualities when it comes to relating. Which is too bad because it’s our greatest skill and our core strength when applied towards technological advancement. When human beings first saw fire they were curious, having never seen anything like it before. They had no reference point for fire, so everything about it was new.
Think of each person as a brand new being you’ve never seen before, but you want to know more about them. As much as you can, let go of what you already know. This way your questions start from the most present moment, instead of information you are drawing on or assumptions you might have about them.
An example of a curious question is:
“Hey, (insert name of person you are putting your full attention on) I really loved your presentation, I’m curious what the impetus for your interest in that perspective was.?”
Most people will try to impress the presenter with what they know about the topic by trying to be interesting. But by putting even more attention on the presenter, you immediately make that person matter even more. And you stand out.
2) Are You Assuming People Are A “No”?
When making requests, most people are trying not to impose, or feel guilty for asking. When you’re being bold and direct in your requests, people hear you clearly. By starting with assuming people will say “yes,” your excitement grabs their attention and inspires interest. They might have to say “no,” but they’ll be impressed with your clarity and conviction.
An example of a request that starts with an assumption of a possible “no” would be:
“If you have time, would you like to go for a drink?”
The qualifying statement at the beginning of the request is a way we assume that people might be a “no,” so we’re giving them a way out ahead of time and also protecting ourselves.
Starting with assuming a “yes” sounds like:
“I would really love to talk more, would you join me for a drink?”
By starting with a “yes” the person gets complete access to your true desire. Your confidence stands out and most people would rather spend time with someone that’s sure about what they want, than unsure.
3) Ask The Next Question, Be Interested.
By knowing that most people are not getting the attention they really want, you’ll start to notice that people are in a rush to talk about themselves. And in the process, they don’t ask the next question. The next question keeps the attention on the person who just shared. By asking the next question you demonstrate that you’re listening and you really care. This is incredibly important in advancing any relationship.
Not asking the next question sounds like:
A person shares: “I just came back from Mexico”
Most people say: “I love Mexico I was there last year”
Asking the next question sounds like:
“I just came back from Mexico”
“Cool! What was the favorite part of your trip?”
There’s unlimited information about people if you are really interested and are listening. By asking the next question, people feel special. This positions you the person that makes people feel even more visible.
“No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care”
By being the source of attention for people, you immediately become the person that’s creating significant connections instead of trying to get noticed. Once you remember that most people are not receiving the kind of attention that feels good, you get to take up the space that is not occupied and get to have fun creating significant connections on your terms.
Try this for a few weeks and let me know how it works out for you. And if you feel I might be able to help you develop significant relationships with the people who matter most to you, I would be happy to chat! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
For even more great information on creating significant relationships please check out my video: Increasing Your Attention – Making A Bigger Difference
Kudos! What a neat way of thinking about it.
Networking events can be very draining because most people are focused on presenting their professional best selves, not relating person-to-person. There’s a rush to exchange cards, as if that formality is going to forge a connection. You walk out the door with a handful of cards, but no feel for the people you have met.
These are great tips. Will apply them and let you know how they work!
Thank you, it helps to be reminded that people like to talk about themselves. & asking them q’s about themselves gets them curious about you, too.
That insight would have saved us a lot of effort early on.
I think you’ve just captured the answer perfectly