Guy Kawasaki, former “chief evangelist” for Apple says there are 10 actions we can each take to connect with people on a deeper level. My comments are in bold.
- Make “crows feet.” What does it cost you to smile? Nothing. What does it cost you not to smile? Everything, if it prevents you from connecting to people. We might think of this as a genuine smile — you know, unlike the smile the flight attendant gives you as you leave the plane, or the smile you force when your Mother is taking a picture of you with your out-of-state cousins. If you need more information, Google “Duchenne smile”.
- Use the right words. There’s a Danish proverb that says, “Big words seldom accompany good deeds.” Keep it short. If people are interested, they’ll ask for more information. I might change this slightly to say, “Speak plainly and clearly.” Clarity is truly liberating.
- Perfect your handshake.
- Dress for a “tie”. This does not mean a necktie or a bowtie, rather it means to dress so that the other person will feel OK about their own clothing — rather than dressing to “win”, dress for a “tie”, removing clothing from the realm of competition. Actually, I think this could be true in most human interactions. What might happen if we stopped thinking of everything as a competition?
- Get close. Not too close. Respect the other person’s space. But close enough to indicate you actually want to be part of the interaction.
- Don’t impose your values. This can be a tough one. It’s w-a-y too easy to think that our values are the right values, and then to judge others on how well they measure up to our standards.
- Accept others. Don’t evaluate or judge them, accept them as they are, for who they are. If you want to connect with someone, look for the things on which you can agree, and build from there. If you want a deeper connection, look for and acknowledge the greatness in the other person.
- Pursue and Project your Passions.
- Find shared passions. In Crucial Conversations, we call this finding Mutual Purpose, which is the entrance condition for dialogue to occur. A simple way to think about Mutual Purpose is, “I care about what you care about.” Imagine how different our interactions might be if we started from a place of mutual purpose.
- Default to, “Yes.” Going into a situation/conversation with the intention of finding agreement will more likely lead to a deeper connection. Barbara Stoker once said, “Starting with a positive intention for your outcome improves the quality of your thinking by 100% which in turn increases your chances of reaching that outcome by 1000%.”
What do YOU think?