The skill of influencing is universal and useful for managers, leaders, professionals and supervisors. It is also of extreme value to those seeking to find clients. To influence you need to connect with people. Once you connect with people you are in a position to empower them. This is not as simple as it often sounds. Connection is not merely meeting people.

Here I outline some easy steps to learn to make that deep connection. Take time to work through each one and practice them over and over. If necessary work with a coach to help you accelerate the process.

Measure your current connection

If you do not know where you are at, you cannot know how far you need to improve in this area. Get feedback, check your relationship levels and determine what you would like to see in your life.

What impact is this having on your business or life?

Are you frustrated or lonely or doing a lot of work yourself without help? These could be signs that you are not that connected to people and they are not on your side.
Consider other impacts that come from not connecting with people.

Look for common ground

Finding common ground is one of the most important steps to connecting with people and one on which a foundation can be built. Asking questions in some of the key areas of life, such as family, sport, work, hobbies, religion etc. can elicit this. When you have found some area, seek to build on this to gain rapport. Make sure you go at the pace of the other so you are not imposing on the other.

Do you know some questions that work for you to establish common ground?

Find the key to others lives

Finding the key to another’s life or what drives them, is often the way to connect at a deeper level. When you have found this you have great topics for conversation. Finding this is usually through questions such as what their major achievements are and their aspirations for the future.

What questions can you ask to find what drives a person?

Communicate from the heart

When you share from your heart and not your head you stand a much greater chance of connection. Connection from the heart usually involves feelings, or dreams and not just facts. It often involves sharing more detail and not being afraid to share deep issues.

To what extent do you communicate from the heart?

Share common experiences

When you share a common experience you often get a strong bond that does not form otherwise. This was seen prominently in the war when soldiers shared a deep experience that bonded them for life. Your experience does not need to be as profound and can be as simple as travelling with someone or doing a simple task together. Times of adversity can be great times to offer to help someone.

About the Author:

Jane Johnson is one of Melbourne’s leading Performance and Life Purpose Coaches. She has worked with many solo entrepreneurs, consultants, coaches and executives, to enhance their success in their career/business and improve their income levels.

She has also helped many find more fulfilling work. She is the author of the Home Study Course “Growing your Business in 90 Days by one hour a day” and “Finding your Life Purpose”. On top of that, Jane is the founder of the International Life Purpose Institute.

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Phone: 61 (3) 9817 4787