So why is it so important to learn how to connect with anyone?
To illustrate the benefits of knowing how to do this, allow me to share a real life story with you…
I had a consultant friend approach me once to help them with a particular challenge. At the time they were working for one of the big four global consulting firms. We hadn’t seen each other in over a year so I was curious as to what was going on for them.
They shared with me that they had been working hard at their firm for the past two years since joining the company, and they were making progress as expected.
The problem they were experiencing though was one of recognition. They were not getting acknowledged by their superiors and this was a huge issue in terms of getting promoted in the company and the associated pay increase that came with that.
You see, this person was technically excellent and awesome at systems, processes and tools. They were a subject matter expert, and the “go to” for specific technical problems.
When it came to getting senior level recognition however they were falling flat. None of the seniors really knew anything about this person.
With some significant changes in personal circumstances on the way, such as a new baby, this person was feeling anticipation and stress at the same time.
Furthermore they were frustrated at both the failure of others to acknowledge the great work that they’d done, as well as at themselves for not knowing how to “play the social game”.Fear of failure comes from lack of belief, knowledge and practise. Click To Tweet
Can you relate?
So this person became my private coaching client and for several months we worked on improving their ability to connect with key people in their company. Together we created a game plan and I did my best to share processes, tools and practises to help this person improve their soft skills as well as quality of connections.
Within 30 days this person was having one on one meetings with key people at their company, and they were practising key skills such as active listening, being present, establishing rapport, and guiding a conversation.
So what worked best for my client to get them improving their ability to connect with the people who could help their career?
There were 3 key elements to success:
#1 Mindset: We believe that we can achieve it
I once asked a personal trainer the following question:
“If you had a client come to you asking for your help to reach a certain goal, say lose 10 kilos, but they never really believed that it could be done – would they ever achieve the goal even if you did everything you could to help them get there?”
“Not a chance.”
Success begins in the mind, so in order for anything to be realised we need to first see it as possible.
This was the first area that I worked on with my client.
We did this with a simple process: write down 100 reasons why it’s important for you to make this happen.
#2 Learn what to do from someone who’s actually done it
Think about it – if you were never given information or guidance on how to ride a bike, surf the internet or drive a car – how would you have ever been able to do it?
To fast track our results we can work with a mentor, coach, instructor or guide.
I certainly did that when I wanted to pass an acceptance exam to join an intermediate level salsa dancing class. I paid for a 2-hour private lesson with an accomplished salsa instructor and I learnt more in that 2 hour session than I would have trying to practise on my own for 6 months. I passed the exam with flying colours.
My client was clever enough to seek my support when they knew they couldn’t solve their challenge alone.
Is there a mentor, coach or guide that can help you achieve your goals?
#3 Practice it
Legendary martial artist Bruce Lee once said:
“I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.”
It’s through consistent practice that we reach mastery.
We practice and practice and practice until we become great at it. If something doesn’t quite work we assess and adjust along the way.
There’s no skipping this part.
In order to have my client practice the art of connecting I simply got them to do the following:
- Write down a list of all the key people that you want to build a relationship with,
- Book coffee or lunch meetings with those people.
- Prior to each meeting set the intention of what would make that meeting great. It could be as simple as “to find out something interesting about the person and ask them where they could use some support”.
- At the meeting, ask questions to build rapport.
- Post-meeting, reflect on what worked, what did you learn, and how you can improve the next meeting.
So do you want to improve your chances of being successful at creating the life and business that you desire?
Then I suggest you learn, practice and benefit from the power of connecting with others.
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