4 Ways to Connect with People

August 7, 2016

Every relationship starts with a connection. This is how friendships begin and love grows. Knowing how to connect with others helps us to be better friends, lovers, parents, and bosses. It also allows us to make a bigger impact in other people’s lives and greatly enriches our own lives.

Making connections also help us grow in our careers, because it helps us reach others, whether it’s closing a deal, motivating our coworkers, or communicating more effectively.

In principle, connecting with people who are similar to us is relatively easy. When we have similar interests and personalities, it’s pretty easy to make a connection. However, connecting with people who are different from us is more difficult.

But we shouldn’t only strive to have relationships where the connection is easy. In fact, we often have to interact with people who are difficult to connect with, but doing so is essential. A successful relationship with your coworker, your boss, your client, your child, your student, your neighbor, or even your own partner depends on it.

How to connect with anyone you meet

Being good at making connections will allow you to start relationships off on the right foot, resolve problems, facilitate solutions, and advance in your personal and professional life with a higher chance of success. Below are some good ways to start.

Pay attention

Something as simple as listening to the other person and paying attention could be the key to connecting with them from the start, and maintaining the connection later on. Actively listening to someone sends a clear message: that you care about them.

But when you’re not listening, or when it seems like you’re not, they’ll get the opposite message: you don’t care about them, they’re not important enough for you to take a minute and give them all of your attention.

To listen actively, make eye contact with the speaker. People who make eye contact are better able to connect with others because it shows interest, respect, and security in oneself.

eye contact

It’s also important to ignore external stimuli that threaten to interrupt the conversation. For example, instead of answering your phone or checking your messages immediately after receiving a notification, put your phone on silent. If somebody else demands your attention, politely ask them to wait.

Look for feedback and ask questions

To improve your ability to connect with others, it’s important to look for feedback. A good way to do this is to ask questions that focus on getting to know the other person, since people love to talk about themselves.

When you give other people a chance to talk about themselves and you actively listen to them, you’re giving them a chance to open up to you, share the best of themselves, and show you who they are or how they want others to know them.

Even if you don’t talk much about yourself, the other person will feel like they had an excellent conversation with you. Even if they know nothing about you, they’ll feel like they have a lot in common with you.

Remember their name

We all know people who are really bad with names. But this is not a good way to connect with people. If you’re bad with names, you’ll have to do everything you can to remember the names of the people you meet. Remembering someone’s name is key to making them feel important and building an effective connection with them.

Calling people by their name sends a message of interest, respect, and trust. When you call someone by their name, you make them feel important. And when they feel important, they’ll be more open and receptive to you.

“Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”

-Dale Carnegie-

two women talking

Don’t try to look like you know everything

When you talk to other people, sometimes you want to show that you’re educated and well-informed. It can be hard for some people to admit that they’re learning something for the first time. But this can be a barrier to accepting advice and improving your skills, and people might think you’re arrogant and lack humility.

To make a good connection, you should be aware of your own ego and control your behavior. You must be prepared to learn from others. Don’t try to look like you know everything.

Instead of focusing on proving yourself, worry about the other person. Value their words, be encouraging and positive, and offer support and help. Let them know that you appreciate them and care about them. Little details like remembering a date or asking about someone they care about is a very effective way to connect with others.

 

This Short Film Teaches Us About Love and Luck