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WANT STRONGER AND MORE PROFITABLE RELATIONSHIPS? You’ll Need To Connect . . . Like You MEAN IT!™

Have you ever realized that you’ve arrived somewhere, met someone, attended a meeting, or even had an entire conversation . . . without even thinking about it? When you look back, you may not even remember having driven home on the same familiar path, or saying hello to the other people in your office (or family), or even giving a presentation. In other words, you’re operating on “auto pilot.”

About 15 years ago, when I had already been with Anheuser-Busch Entertainment for about 8 years, it occurred to me that I didn’t really feel any true connections to most of the people I saw on a regular basis. Yes, I waved and smiled and said “Hello,” and so did they, but other than that they were fairly one-dimensional relationships.

I started to grow more frustrated, and I began to really wonder what might be the reason behind these shallow interactions. Luckily, right around that same time, I was asked to start working with the animal trainers and educators at SeaWorld Orlando® and Discovery Cove®, to help them build stronger relationships with our park guests. Great! Now I had a real reason to spend time researching the answers to my question, “How can we build stronger relationships that benefit our careers and make life more meaningful?”

Little did I know how relatively simple it can be to make such a drastic improvement that can positively impact your life, and the people around you.

Here are just a few of the top tips I’ve collected to help you simply and intentionally make connections that will build stronger,more profitable, and more meaningful personal and professional connections in your life:

Tip 1: Be “present” in every interaction. How many times have you walked into your office, your home, or a meeting of any kind and had something “on your mind” that kept you very focused? In that situation, how many times have you started the interaction by issuing questions, directives, etc. without even giving so much as a ‘Hello” or a glance around to really “see” the people in front of you? Seriously, snap yourself out of “auto pilot” mode when you’re interacting with your staff, peers, family and friends-and intentionally focus on and engage with those around you.

Tip 2: Smile and make eye contact! This may seem like a given, but it’s not as common (or as easy!) as it may seem. This was a big one for me, and can still be a challenge when I’m deep in thought. However, it (literally) only takes seconds of minor effort to make a big difference in setting a positive tone and building relationships. Try it (consistently), you may be surprised by your own success.

Tip 3: It’s not all about you. I know, sorry to be so blunt, but this may be the most critical point. With so much that may be going on in your own life, it can be less than instinctual to consistently focus on the people around you.

However, studies show that one of the most common reasons given for being frustrated in professional or personal relationships is not feeling heard, understood, and/or appreciated. You’ve likely had those same frustrations at one time or another (I know I have). It stands to reason, if we’re all absorbed in our own “happenings” most of the time, it’s a wonder we ever receive any genuine interest, concern or recognition from anyone else!

Invest in the relatively small amount of time it takes to simply ask how things are going, wish someone well, understand another viewpoint, anticipate your customer’s needs, remember a special occasion (like an
employee’s 5 yr. anniversary with the company), or simply say “Good Job!”

I can genuinely say, these few tips, practiced consistently, put me on the track to building the kinds of relationships that have improved my quality of life in every area. Try it for yourself, it’s amazing what can happen when you “Connect . . . Like You Mean It!™”

ActivatePotential. Realize Results.™

To contact Lisa Broesch to talk about coaching options, click on the “Contact” button to the left.

©2014 Lisa Broesch. All rights reserved internationally. Permission granted to excerpt or redistribute with attribution and notification.