Posts Tagged ‘re-connecting’

Less Talking, More Listening!

July 1st, 2015




More Listening Less Talking (ears photo)






We’ve all been there. Do you have a friend or colleague who often talks over you, interrupts, or one ups your stories? Glances away or fails to make the right follow up comments to show interest? Effective listening makes one feel appreciated, respected and worthy. Poor listening does just the opposite.

It’s funny that we tend to pay a great deal of attention to our ability to speak. From Toastmasters to unlimited courses and workshops, we see that speaking, especially public speaking, is a highly desirable, sought-after skill.

Public speaking is considered to be an essential ability for those who aim to advance their career in business and politics. But compared to all this attention placed on speaking, listening is virtually ignored. It can be argued that listening is every bit as important as speaking. Everyone wants to be heard and understood, and really that’s how trust and loyalty are gained.

“The most basic of all human needs is the need to understand and be understood. The best way to understand people is to listen to them.”

– Ralph G. Nichols

From Forbes, come these tips below on being the best listener you can:


1. Face the speaker and maintain eye contact.

2. Be attentive, but relaxed.

3. Keep an open mind.

4. Listen to the words and try to picture what the speaker is saying.

5. Don’t interrupt and don’t impose your “solutions.”

6. Wait for the speaker to pause to ask clarifying questions.

7. Ask questions only to ensure understanding.

8. Try to feel what the speaker is feeling.

9. Give the speaker regular feedback.

10. Pay attention to what isn’t said—to nonverbal cues.

Making A More Meaningful Connection

January 26th, 2015

There’s a work conference that I’ve been attending for over a decade now. I’ve made long-time friends and colleagues there with whom I keep in regular touch. Many of us do the same work, consulting and selling similar products, and over the years we’ve formed “master mind groups,” where we meet every month virtually to encourage each other and discuss big ideas, as well as to stay up to date on our personal lives. We’ve grown to deeply care for and trust one another.

I always find it more fun and engaging to build relationships with people who are open and willing to be a multi-dimensional resource to other business folk, as well as to their community, and who add extra value to their clients and friends in order to succeed together.

With any group or event we join, there are always a few people there who only want to mingle with those they see “value” in, while ignoring others. Or there is the infamous business card ninja, who throws their business card at everyone around them.  That is no way to truly connect with people.

That’s why a Forbes article on forging real connections struck me. Below are their valuable tips.
Regardless of status or fame, people are people. And the 7 pillars of making a connection with another person are always the same.

  1. Be genuine. The only connections that work will be the ones that you truly care about; the world will see through anything short of that. If you don’t have a genuine interest in the person with whom you’re trying to connect, then stop trying.
  2. Provide massive help. Even the biggest and most powerful people in the world have something they’d like help with. Too many people never reach out to those above them due to the fear that they wouldn’t be able to offer anything in return. But you have more to offer than you realize: write an article or blog post about them, share their project with your community, offer to spread their message through a video interview with them. Give real thought to who you could connect them with to benefit their goals. If it turns out you can’t be that helpful, the gesture alone will stand out.
  3. Pay ridiculous attention. It’s nearly impossible to genuinely offer help if you don’t pay attention — I mean real attention, not just to what business they started or what sport they like! Do your research by reading blog posts, books and articles about the connection beforehand. Learn about their backgrounds and passions. Invest genuine time in learning what really matters to them and how you can help.
  4. Connect with people close to them. Most job openings are filled through networking and referrals, and making connections is no different. You automatically arrive with credibility when referred to someone you want to meet by a mutual friend. For example, I recently wanted to meet a best-selling author, and it turned out we had the same personal trainer. In reality, that fact means nothing, but in the world of social dynamics, it’s gold! Spend more time connecting with your current network of friends and colleagues and see where it leads.
  5. Persistence wins most battles. If you can’t get a direct referral, simply click send on that email or leave a message after the beep. But do not stop there, as most the world tends to. The first attempt is just the very beginning. Realize that the first try may get you nowhere, but the fifth or the tenth tries are the ones that start to yield results. An unreturned email or voicemail doesn’t mean they don’t want to connect with you. It’s your job to be persistent! I sometimes get hundreds of requests in a day from readers who want to connect, but only about 2 percent ever follow up. Don’t be in a hurry, but don’t be invisible either.
  6. Make real friends. Think about how you’ve made the friends you have. That’s all this is. You only make friends with people you genuinely want in your life. The same rule should go for bigger-name connections. Don’t over-think it. Be human, be helpful and most humans will happily be human in return, regardless of who they are.
  7. Remain unforgettable. All of the above are simple — yet sadly underused — ways of standing out. Send birthday cards. Mail your favorite book with a signed personal note from you on the inside flap. Send them your family Christmas card. Be genuinely helpful. You’d be surprised how the simplest things actually never get done. Being memorable isn’t as hard as some think!More great info on this topic! Forbes– Networking Is Not Working: The Secret to Making Meaningful Connections