Did you know that each day, we are given opportunities to connect with and influence people in our lives that can have a significant impact on our future? Whether at the office, on social media, running errands around town, or even among our own circle of friends, it's important that you slow down and take the time to connect.
This has been a very interesting and enlightening year. I've noticed a TON of people in my network who are trying to grow their business, but honestly- they all seem to be in it for themselves because they aren't taking time to truly connect with their audience, potential clients or customers. I get it. We all want to make money in our business or promote up in our organizations, but in today's world where it seems everybody and their mama wants to run a side hustle and feels like they deserve to promote- you have to establish undeniable credibility. Why should someone trust you, buy your product, or feel that you are the right person for the promotion?
It all boils down to credibility. You can no longer talk the talk and people truly need to see that you are also walking the walk. I'd like to share with you the top 3 connecting principles to help grow your business and career.
Remember That It's All About Others
I'm sure you know this, but if you don't realize it yet- this may sting a little. It's not about you, boo. When you're in a discussion with someone it's important that you take the time to actively listen to what they are saying so that you're a part of their experience and not the one in your head. Often times, we are so focused on worrying about what we are going to say next that we completely miss the point of what the other person is talking about and completely miss opportunities for connections by selfishly bulldozing the conversation.
Brent Gleeson wrote in his article for Inc.com that there are 7 I's for influencing others and the two that stood out to me most were to invest the time in getting to know the people you wish to influence and invite them to share their ideas. There are many others, but these two were HUGE for me. I wasn't always the best about investing time in others because I was so focused on my own agenda and worried about how much time others would waste because they weren't talking about anything that I could benefit from. What a HUGE mistake. When we open up to others and not only give them the chance to share with us, but invite them to, you never know where that connection could lead and your reputation will be a positive one when someone mentions that they know you and have had conversations with you before.
Connect and Go Beyond Your Words
Actions speak louder than words. We have heard that so many times before, but for some reason it's easy for us to forget at critical times. Stacy Hanke writes in her article with Forbes that "influential communicators ensure their energy level matches the nature of their message. Their gestures are purposeful rather than distracting. They connect with listeners rather than focus on their notes or slides. Their posture and body language suggest they want to engage with listeners rather than give a monologue." It is SO important that you're mindful of your body language when you're connecting with someone.
We've all seen people in conversations cross their arms, sit back, or begin looking around the room when their speaking with someone. These are all signs of disengagement, disinterest, and disappointment. If you realize that someone pulls away from a conversation with you, take a moment to pause and redirect the conversation back to them. If we seem inauthentic or disingenuous, those are going to detract from your message and interest of the person you're speaking with. What we communicate and how we communicate it are extremely important to keep top of mind. Our words are one thing, but the way we say them and the gestures that we make with the message are where the connections are made.
Exude Positive Vibes & Good Energy in Your Interactions
I recently read that your energy speaks before you do, and that is so true. When you meet someone for the first time or the 20th time, what type of energy are you bringing into that conversation? Is it draining, or is it uplifting and inspiring? Stephenie Zamora writes in her blog with Huffington Post that we sometimes need to change our environment, location, and mindset to change your energy and really transform your life. If you're surrounded with negativity, distractions, and bad influences- you have very little positive energy that you can put out into the world because you're not taking enough in.
One thing that I have done for a few years now to really shift my energy is to take make a change to my living space that included brighter colors and aromatherapy oils that filled my space with a sense of calmness and peace. Did you realize that the space you spend the most time in such as at home or work can really affect the energy you're putting out to others? Can you think of any areas you could make a more peaceful, calming, yet energizing space?
Another area in my life where I have focused is on my mindset. I've done a lot of reading, bible studies, spent more time listening to podcasts that give me good information, and have spent more time paying attention to the foods I'm eating and my exercise routine. I've always been pretty good in this area, but it's definitely something I want to be more intentional about. Many of us truly aren't eating enough times during the day to keep our energy levels up, and then when we do eat- we're eating foods that slow us down, take longer to digest, and aren't as nutrient-dense as they should be.
Can you think about what you've eaten over the past few days? How do you think that has affected your energy and ability to show up? Food comas are a real thing, and we must pay better attention to what we are putting into our bodies so that we are putting out a better version of ourselves. You know I got your back girl. Let's talk about this more if you'd like me to share some of my experiences. Having focused on health and fitness for years- I can share some things with ya. Lets get that negativity OUT!
As you go throughout your day, keep these connecting principles in mind and take a moment to think about how you can practice them in conversations with others. You'll likely find that when you're taking time to consider these principles, they aren't difficult to implement, but its a new habit that you can form that will have exciting benefits for your future connections and interactions.
Now, I'd love to hear from you. Which connecting principle stood out to you most, and how will paying closer attention to this benefit your business and/or career? Leave your thoughts directly below in the comments.
Brittanni Below, MBA is a coach, speaker, and trainer based in Houston, TX that provides services to help fierce and self-driven women to live a more balanced, healthy, and more fulfilling life. By fully understanding your unique talents and gifts and what is distracting you from being successful, Brittanni helps you transform fear, lack of confidence, and life challenges, into lessons that push you to crush the goals that you've set for yourself. If you're interested in business or career coaching, book your FREE coaching session with Brittanni here.