Relationships are the best form of value you can create, not just in your business but in your personal life.
Strong connections create success.
Every person you meet comes with a chance to exchange value, whether in the form of a friend, business contact, or colleague. An exchange of value can be as simple as a smile or a shared laugh, or it could be the opportunity of a lifetime.
We need to stop thinking of exchanging value with another human being as just a numerical transaction or a mafia-type “You owe me one” mentality.
Why not just add value to someone’s life because you can? You have nothing to lose by doing so, and just the act of adding value to another’s life adds value to your own life. It’s the best thing in the world.
When you’re building personal relationships and business connections, you don’t need a checkbook to exchange value with others. You just need a heart and a willingness to be vulnerable.
Here are five ideas to help you build fantastic relationships and strong connections.
Don’t think of a relationship as a one-and-done deal.
Make it your intention to create connections and relationships without an agenda and trust that the universe will take care of the rest. Relationships and the act of making connections are investments with infinite potential to bring returns, whether in a beautiful friendship, business relationship, or your personal life. That return may be immediate, not till tomorrow, or maybe it will come a year, five years, or a decade from now.
It’s not our business to know the how, when, or why of relationship returns. Think of it as a powerful mindset to stay connected to others without strings or expectations.
There’s a real temptation to start getting in your head when you’re marketing, networking, or dating, to want a transaction to happen right away or know if the relationship will somehow be of value to you.
Instead, be curious about how it would change your life and the life of others if you shared your work, passions, and joy with others, with no agenda except to connect and add value to their lives.
Just be you.
How do you act when you’re around people you feel comfortable with? This is the place you want to get to; let yourself be that way with everyone you meet.
Quit building fake personas. This is what sucks the energy out of us introverts. We often twist ourselves into someone we’re not to try to fit in, or be liked…and it’s exhausting.
Sometimes we think we need to overcompensate to be liked, or that we need to impress, or brag about our accomplishments, or one-up the other person.
You don’t have to prove anything. You just need to be you.
One of my favorite thoughts is, “I have nothing to prove and everything to give.” Use that thought the next time you feel socially awkward.
Be more interested than interesting.
People join networks to get people interested in them – “What can I get out of this?” is the common thought process.
That’s why they feel so yucky and useless to many of us. Everyone is there for themselves and has an agenda.
If you want to stand out, do the opposite. Be interested in what you can give, not what you can get. That’s the kind of energy that draws people to you.
You don’t even have to do anything – it’s great! You never need to be concerned about a social situation, wondering if the other person will ask about you, or worrying about when to bring up your screenplay or a project you want to share.
When you show someone you are genuinely interested in them, they will want to reciprocate and ask about you. And, it will be because you started the exchange by being interested rather than trying so hard to be interesting.
Never be concerned about your turn to speak.
Listen intently. When you’re not listening, you are thinking about how you look, how you can talk about your screenplay, or figuring out how to respond.
Practice the “Camera Technique.”
I learned this technique from one of my life coaches. It’s helped me immensely at social events to get out of my head.
Imagine you have a camera in your brain, and it’s pointed inward at all the crazy insecure thoughts. Then, flip the “camera” outward and instead, focus on what is happening around you – focus on the person you’re talking to, what they’re saying, and on the present moment.
Another technique you could use is to pretend you have a warm radiant light on your head, one that shines outward like a spotlight into the room and onto others. When you engage with an individual, let that warm light focus on just that person as if they were the only person in the room. Not in a weird creepy way, of course!
We opened with adding value to the lives of others. If you can connect like this with someone, you are going to add so much value to their lives. To truly listen to someone and forget about yourself is the greatest gift you can give, I think, which perfectly sets us up for number five.
Trade Judgment for Curiosity
Listen to others without judgment. This one can be challenging, but just try to notice when you might be judging what someone is saying and trade those thoughts for curiosity. Listen to what they’re saying with the intent of understanding.
It doesn’t mean you have to pretend you agree with them when you don’t. It doesn’t mean you have to do what they want you to do. It simply means listening just to understand them.
When it’s your turn, they are much more likely to be receptive to your point of view.
If you notice that your efforts at first seem disingenuous, and you find your mind gets triggered and sneaks off to form a judgment and retaliation, go easy on yourself. This one does take some practice.
A creativity coach is your very own human sounding board, with no agenda but to see you succeed. Book a free consult here and find out how we can work together and get your projects out into the world where they belong.