5 Best Practices of Connecting

connectionI’ve been telling you about Amy, her exciting new job and her desire to get a great start on building strong relationships with her new boss, peers and team members.

In Building Relationships When It Matters Most, I shared the impact of communication blind spots and the importance of understanding the different styles of communication.  In Part 2, we looked at the 5 Key Principles of Connecting that form a basis for building practices for effective communications with others.

Here are 5 Best Practices for Connecting that helped Amy establish better relationships with new colleagues right from the start:

  1. Finding Common Ground. When you are able to meet someone in a place that is known by and comfortable to her, you are off to a good start.  It creates a foundation from which to build.  This requires taking an interest in others, asking questions, listening and observing. (If you want some ideas on how to do this, download my Tip Sheet: 10 Questions to Find Common Ground
  2. Keeping it simple. As an effective communicator, your job is to bring clarity to your message, not complexity. After all, none other than Leonardo Da Vinci taught us that “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”  Learn how to get to the point and that less is often more.
  3. Think of the experience you are creating. Are you energetic, engaging and interesting when you communicate? Or, are you serious, boring or unsure of yourself? Think of the impression people will walk away with after your conversation.
  4. Be inspiring. This starts with being inspired and motivated yourself. Remember that your passion is contagious – and so is the lack of it.  You need to decide how you want people to feel after your interaction and build that into your level of energy.
  5. Always be authentic. Your credibility depends on establishing consistency among the things you say, the things you do and the thoughts, feelings, attitudes and behavior you convey as a role model.  This is not always easy, though when you make it your intention and your practice, it will become your habit.

As for Amy, she is off to a great start.  And, she realizes that, like all of us, she’s a work in progress.  Her commitment to improvement has conveyed to others that she is committed to building strong relationships.  It has also propelled her to do better and be better as a communicator and connector.

If you would like to learn more about building better relationships by communicating and connecting more effectively, join me for my upcoming webinar Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.

And, if you have particular challenges that you would like me to address, just comment below or send me an email.  I love to hear from my readers!

#relationships #connecting #communications #influence


5 Key Principles of Connecting

piecesofthepuzzleIn my last post, Building Relationships When It Matters Most, I introduced Amy, who was starting a new job and wanted to be more effective in building relationships with her boss, team and co-workers.

From our meetings, Amy learned how her communications style was working for her in some cases and against her at other times.  This new awareness enabled her to adapt and adjust her style to fit the situation and to create more effective interactions with each of the people who were important to her success.

Learning the Key Principles of Connecting also helped Amy build her leadership ability and credibility.  Let’s review them here:

  1. Connecting increases your influence in every situation. And, since influence is the currency of leadership, the ability to connect with others and to communicate effectively is a major determining factor in your success and in reaching your potential.
  2. Connecting is all about others and not about you. In order to make an initial connection, you need to focus on where they are coming from and how they prefer to interact, then adjust your approach to match it.
  3. Connecting goes beyond words. You need to understand and appreciate all the components of effective communications.  Did you realize, for instance, that more than 90% of the impression you convey has nothing to do with what you actually say?
  4. Connecting requires energy & effort. You have to be intentional and deliberate; it needs to be a priority.  You have to be committed, prepared, interesting and interested.
  5. Connecting is more skill than natural talent. Yes, there are people who seem to be born connectors.  And, it is a skill that can be taught and it can be learned.  And, it’s one that worth developing over time; you can always be better.

 For Amy, knowing these principles enabled her to develop some simple practices that made building her skill in this area a natural flow in her daily interactions with others.

In Part 3 of this series, I will share those practices.  If you’d like to learn more about the key principles and best practices of connecting, join my upcoming webinar, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.  This session is jam-packed with practical tips that will help you improve your communication – at work and everywhere else!

#relationships #connecting #communications #influence


5 Benefits of High Performance Coaching

high performanceThis weekend, I am heading to Santa Clara, California for my annual re-certification as a High Performance Coach. I’m looking forward to 5 intensive days of training and learning with other coaches from around the world who are dedicated to helping people excel and succeed above standard norms consistently over the long term.

Having worked through the high performance program several times myself, as well as coaching others through it, I’ve realized at least 5 key benefits to learning how to create a sustainable level of high performance:

  1. Greater Clarity. According to Buckminster Fuller, “clarity is power” and I couldn’t agree more. When you have clarity about who you are, what you want and where you are headed, the path becomes easier to follow and the distractions are easier to ignore. And the likelihood that you will achieve the outcome you really want increases as well.
  2. Increased Energy The most consistent complaint I hear from people is “not enough time” to do everything expected or desired. Learning to manage your energy—and how to increase it—provides a better return than trying to manage your time.
  3. More Courage. The ability to make the tough choices that life requires of us all and to move forward despite the fears and doubts we all face from time to time is a real game-changer. After all, we are not born with courage, but we can learn how to generate it when we need it.
  4. Greater Productivity.  This includes the ability to identify and focus on what’s important and allows you attend to the 20% of effort that creates 80% of the result.
  5. Higher level of Influence.  Leading your own life with more intention and having the ability to impact the lives of others, including team members, coworkers, customers—even family and friends—will ultimately make you more effective at anything you want to accomplish.

Having more clarity, energy, courage, productivity and influence becomes a game-changer for anyone who wants to excel in their career, business or life itself.  For me, the opportunity to reconnect with my fellow coaches and refocus on my own personal growth is an opportunity I’m very grateful for.

I am looking forward to my training. My colleagues operate at a high level of energy and with a high level of commitment to performing at their very best. Upon my return, I will be starting up my next high performance group coaching program.

To learn more about high performance coaching, and to find out whether you qualify for the program, click on the button below.

Learn How to Perform at YOUR Highest Level

5 Reasons Women Should Develop Their Leadership Abilities

Recently, I was asked “Why is it important for women to be better leaders?”  Wow!  What a great question and I had never given it much thought.  Men and women should want to be better leaders, right?

Whenever I discuss or write about leadership, I like to make the distinction that I am not talking about position, because to me, leadership is about connection and its about influence.  And, since we all have the opportunity to influence someone or something,  we all have the opportunity to lead.

One of my core values is diversity, as in respect for individual perspective. I believe the world is a better place whenever and wherever multiple points of view are represented.  This certainly includes both feminine and masculine energy when it comes to leadership.

I grew up in an era when we were trying to prove that men and women are “equal,” as in “the same.”  We know now that isn’t true.  Men and women are [delightfully] different and each brings something unique to the table in terms of perspective.  One without the other can be an incomplete view.  We definitely need both.

So, with that as context, let me share at least 5 reasons it’s important for women to develop their leadership ability and effectiveness: Continue reading