THREE STEPS TO ESTABLISHING INTERPERSONAL CONNECTION
Whether you’re an introvert, extrovert or somewhere in-between, establishing true connection with those around you is no easy task. And while there’s no doubt there are some people who seem like absolute naturals, be assured they’re the minority, not the majority.
It’s important to note that this isn’t about becoming everyone’s bestie or being an extraordinaire at making small talk. True connection is about establishing honest relationships with those around you, so both parties can confidently show up as themselves, creating more effective working relationships that drive business outcomes and ultimately, providing a more fulfilling work life.
So, whether you’re heading to an event, simply wanting to get to know those around you a little better, or are just curious, the following three steps will create your silver bullet to interpersonal connection.
How much do you know about the lifestyles of those you’re seeking to truly connect with? What are their interests, hobbies, professional journeys? Take some time to dive into what you already know and if you feel it’s not enough to work with, then do a little research (which may also include some topic research, just as much as personal research (easy on the social stalking)) until you’ve found a few interest areas that you’re confident to discuss.
2. Look within
First, think about how you can contribute to the interest areas you’ve identified. Can you personally relate to them, and if so, how best can you share your experiences and learnings? If they are completely new areas, then how can you best learn more about them from those you want to connect with?
As you go through this process it’s also important to mindfully check-in with your vulnerability, as although you may initially think this is counterproductive for your career (hello ego), by keeping it real and allowing your vulnerability to shine through you encourage true connection with those around you.
As research professor at the University of Houston and #1 bestselling author, Dr Brené Brown said in an interview with Forbes “People connect more with those who have weaknesses. Every superhero has a weakness (Superman has kryptonite, for example). What makes these people more relatable? If they were perfect, would we care as much about them?”.
3. Play it out
So now you know how you’re going to discuss each key interest area, the last thing to do before you put it into action is to visualise how you’ll play it out. How will you open these conversations and how do you want to feel during these? By taking a few moments to visualise your conversations, you’ll find you have more confidence and clarity as you put it all into action.
Connection is contagious. By showing up and encouraging true connection in your professional relationships you help set the platform for a connected workplace, which has a ripple effect throughout the business. It motivates peak performance, driving greater customer connection and optimal business outcomes.
Emma is someone who juggles multiple roles, all with one common theme - connection. With over 12 years of holistic marketing communications experience, Emma collaborates with individuals, organisations and the media to connect brands with their consumers; and leads RPM classes to connect individuals with their personal health goals.