When we say that someone “connected” with us, we mean that what they said resonates. When someone “connects” with us, we don’t just hear them, we are somehow drawn to what they said. We may feel further aligned or inspired to take action. When we connect, we say something that touches the core of an individual.
Creating connection is powerful. It is the basis of influence. It is the tool of leaders, marketers, and sales folk.
A connection cannot be contrived or forced. But the way we communicate can be crafted in a manner that encourages connection.
Here are three tips for making connections with others in lasting ways.
Say something that goes beyond the facts.
Facts reinforce our message. They give it credibility, but they do not create connection. If you want to create a connection, you must share more than just information. You must help connect the dots, fill in the blanks, or express an opinion.
Connection might come from an Aha! moment, or when a listener agrees with your insight. Connection is more likely to come from a shared perspective or opinion.
Say something that demonstrates vulnerability.
Facts are easy to express. Opinions are personal and require more courage to express. But sharing hopes, fears, and failures require a vulnerability that many are unwilling to expose. Connection, however, is best formed from a connection of our humanity. It is these hopes, fears, and failures that make us human and relatable.
The more vulnerable you are, the more relatable you become. Connection is more likely to come from someone who can identify with you than it is from someone who knows little about who you are.
Say something that’s rooted in purpose.
Vulnerability comes from sharing who we are. It exposes our failures and what we long for. Our core beliefs are even more fundamental to who we are. What we believe expresses our purpose. What we stand for is fundamental to who we are.
Our purpose is the most inspiring part of who we are. If it drives us, it certainly has the potential to drive others. Connection most often comes from a shared belief – your underlying purpose.
Too often the words we say are hollow. We share facts. Facts fall on deaf ears. If you want to have an impact in the world – to inspire action, sell a product, or market a brand – you must create a connection. It is connection that makes us move.