4 ways to connect with absolutely anyone

Through life we have to connect with all sorts of people from all walks of life.  Family, friends, co-workers, superiors, supermarket workers, service staff, and so the list goes on.

Sometimes we connect really well with people, and other times it feels like something is lacking.

On those occasions where you have trouble connecting – who do you hold responsible?

Chances are, you hold the other person responsible.  Maybe they just aren’t as intelligent as you are.  Or witty.  Or funny.

However, if you are able to meet with every person where they are at.  Whether they are the smartest person or the dimmest.  If you are able to connect with them.  And make them feel seen and heard, then that is the test of real intelligence, more than anything else.

When you meet someone new, instead of thinking “is this person worth my time”, turn it around, and think “How can I connect?  What do they care about?”

Here are some tips to make it easy to connect with absolutely anyone:

1.       Ask open-ended questions

Most people love to talk about themselves, and topics they are passionate about. If you can get them to talk about what they care about, they will usually come alive.

Ask questions that can’t be answered with a yes or no answer.

2.       Ask a follow up question

Show that you are really listening and interested by asking a great follow up question.  Ask questions that ask for more than just information – but for analysis, reflection and engagement.

3.        Watch your body language

Display that you are interested and engaged by your body language.

Lean in, make eye contact, smile and nod (without overdoing it of course).

Non-verbal cues are a huge part of our language.  And show that we are genuinely interested.

4.       Be present, and give presence

The greatest way to make a connection with someone else is to be fully present.  Not thinking about grocery shopping, or your next meeting, or your weekend plans.  But listening fully and openly with interest and respect.

 

“Connection starts long before the first interaction. Be the guy glowing with passion. Let the people around you feel your fire for the impact you want to have on the world. Prompt others to share what makes them come alive. Share in their excitement. There is no more empowering, genuine way to connect. If you don’t know the impact you dream of making, how will you know who you want in your corner to make it happen?”

Leo Babauta

52 Changes for 2013

I’ve just bought the most wonderful e-book from the always inspiring Leo Babauta at Zen Habits.

I highly HIGHLY recommend his blog for wisdom on subjects from simplifying, to living life, to fitness, to finding peace.

This wonderful ebook covers the following topics:

Table of Contents

  • How to Use This Book
  • Introduction
  • The Principles
  • Change 1: Meditate
  • Change 2: Unprocrastinate
  • Change 3: Walking
  • Change 4: Flexible Mind
  • Change 5: Identify Your Essentials
  • Change 6: Mindful Eating
  • Change 7: Most Important Things (MITs)
  • Change 8: Clear a Shelf
  • Change 9: Start Saving
  • Change 10: Yoga or strength training
  • Change 11: Floss
  • Change 12: Pay a small debt
  • Change 13: Mindful Exercise
  • Change 14: Budget Simply
  • Change 15: Create a support crew
  • Change 16: Eat some veggies
  • Change 17: Gratitude
  • Change 18: Clear counters
  • Change 19: Slow down
  • Change 20: Play
  • Change 21: Flow
  • Change 22: Let go of a vice
  • Change 23: Don’t wish things were different
  • Change 24: Clear a closet
  • Change 25: Let go of TV
  • Change 26: Get more sleep
  • Change 27: Value time over money
  • Change 28: Replace opinions with curiosity
  • Change 29: Read
  • Change 30: Cut out shopping
  • Change 31: Learn that you’re good enough
  • Change 32: Create
  • Change 33: Eat real food
  • Change 34: Explore work you love
  • Change 35: Help others
  • Change 36: Breathe
  • Change 37: Enjoy the habit
  • Change 38: Solitude
  • Change 39: Unclutter a room
  • Change 40: Iterate the habit
  • Change 41: Less busywork, more impact
  • Change 42: Disconnect
  • Change 43: Let go of a goal
  • Change 44: Treat failure as a learning opportunity
  • Change 45: Reduce commitments
  • Change 46: Turn problems into opportunities
  • Change 47: Savor
  • Change 48: Clear your inbox
  • Change 49: Teach
  • Change 50: Compassion
  • Change 51: Reflect
  • Change 52: Realize you’re not missing out

To find out more, or download a copy, click here.

It’s a wonderful way to kick off 2013.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year.  May you all be blessed with good fortune, love, happiness and peace ♥