Humans are social. They need to connect with others. Internet and social network have somehow made it easier to connect with others, while offering opportunities to join some groups of interests, learning clubs, sport fan groups, etc. But the real-life connection with others remains the most powerful way to become part of something bigger and more meaningful then yourself. We, as human beings still learn from our mistakes how to establish a better connection with others, which is meaningful and fulfilling for both – us and the other party.
While making mistakes we learn to become better at connecting on a deeper level with others around us. In my work, I have seen many people trying to connect with others just for the sake of the connection, without having a plan on how to develop this connection for both – them and the other person. Also, I have seen a lot of people trying to connect with others, just because they think that making the connection can mean anything in the future. Both groups’ representatives often fail. Look at the social and professional networks – people with 2000, 3000, 10 000, and even more connections. Some of these connections do not know why and when they have connected to you, but still, you continue to grow your “network”.
Did I made you think about connecting with others?…
Well if Yes, but you still want to do it, then here are 4 mistakes you must try to avoid, to make a more meaningful and long-lasting connection.
You are trying to connect when you do not have time
I often see it in my LinkedIn profile – people sending me connections, without any obvious reason – they are not in my area of work or do not share interest and groups I want to be apart from, etc. These empty invitations are often rejected by me. For example, a lady is trying to connect with me 14 times with the one reason that there is always a good idea to have an HR in your network. If you truly want to connect with someone, you will need to invest time. Answer yourself the questions:
Why do you want to connect with the person?
What can this connection bring for you both?
You do not have an answer for one or even two of these questions. Well, then it is not the time to connect. To avoid making empty connections you need to invest time in building your strategy for a meaningful connection. For example: On every event, I visit I only take 10 business cards with me. And I know that I am on this event to connect with concrete people. If I cannot find people, I want to connect with I do not waste my time and other time and pocket space, by just giving as many business cards as a can. I do not have time for empty connections and do not want to waste people’s time while trying to make one like that.
To truly connect you need to know the purpose of the connection and to have enough time to let that connection expand by itself. It can happen right after you have met the person, or the connection can evolve in time, but you still need to have enough time to let it grow.
You are not listening to the person
While connecting you will need to give your attention to the other person. Many people make the mistake to start connecting while thinking about something else. He often creates discrepancies and a feeling of discomfort. If you do not have enough time, then do not start the process. If the process of connecting with another person starts, but you demonstrate less interest and no dedication to it, you will create a conflict, while showing behavior that can be interpreted as disrespect to the other person. When you want to connect successfully you need to show respect, listen to the other person and give your attention to it, without being interrupted or need to do all the talk fast and with limited time frame
Ignoring your gut
We often do the mistake to try connecting with a person on an event or in a moment, without listening to our internal voice. There are times where you (at least I am like that) do not want to have anyone around you, or just do not trust that the connection will be meaningful for you. Many people ignore that internal feeling and voice by believing that it is just the fear of connecting and do their best to finish the process. The bad news is, that if you do not believe in the meaning of the connection, you show it in your behavior, with your body language, with the words you are using, etc. While trying to connect, but not feeling well now or with the person, you can easily create the opposite effect than the one you have planned. When you want to connect with someone or some group of people, and you feel that it is not the right time, place, person or group, you want to connect to, listen to your internal feelings and voice. They are probably telling you what your consciousness is not telling you.
Not giving yourself enough space
There are some days when you wake up and do not feel that you will have the energy to fulfill your planned program. There are also moments when people do not feel comfortable to make the connection they want – may be the place is wrong, or personal problems are arising, that can harm the connection, or the time is not enough for a meaningful conversation, etc. If you wake up with this feeling, then better not try to fulfill your program for the day. Sometimes we just need more time and space to rethink our behavior and plans and make a better decision. If you want to make the most out of a connection with another person, then you will need to give yourself time and space to prepare. Going to a meeting, or start connecting, just for the sake of the number of the connections you will have, is always not a good idea. If it is not your day – then you better reschedule it. That will guarantee you better results and less stress for you, and the person or group you want to connect to.
Connecting with others is a social activity we all need to do. But doing it without being in our comfort zones can easily turn a positive act of connection to a negative act of internal and external conflict. Building a connection with others is a personal action that every person needs to think of and planned it in the best way, according to its attitudes, believes, behavior style, and communication type.