If you can connect with another person on a deeper level, you open the doors to trust & intimacy. Once you build the trust & intimacy, you are more likely the person they will reach out to, like you & open up to. Many professionals complain that they have an issue in leading their team, in gaining their confidence & trust which leads to not so powerful professional relationships. Thus resulting in poor productivity, poor team work, friction etc. Also, many a times I hear this: "I don't want to share this issue with my boss/my HR?" So, it is important that as leaders, professionals and as people per se, we need to ask ourselves this question: Are we truly connecting with others? Are we creating that safe space for them to open up? If not, what tool do we need to connect with another person? I urge you to peep into the relationships that you have, both personal & professional & do an honest speculation of what might be missing according to you.
The simplest tool that can be used to connect with another person is to give your undivided attention, listening & genuine interest in the person that you are talking to. Yes, that's all you need. But wait, it seems easy but if you observe your own behavior, you'll notice that many a times, we don't connect the way we ought to. We deny the simple tools and we make things complex till it manifests into scary data & statistics.
I want to cite a personal experience here that I encountered yesterday. To maintain confidentiality of identity, I will use X & Y as the two person that I interacted with. Someone reached out to me yesterday, seeking for help for someone who was in need. I didn't know whom to reach out to. The first thought that came to my mind was to check with X since X is well known in that industry. I called up X and exchanged few words. To my utter surprise, in the entire conversation, X was advising for a thing which I didn't want to know. The problem was something else, since X didn't listen very well and started to assume based on the exposure & knowledge X had, the crux of the matter got lost & X just spoke about something which wasn't making any sense. I was for a while taken aback at how people tend to speak more & listen less. I didn't feel heard, nor I wanted to share anything further. My mind completely shut down and was just longing for the call to just end. I was relieved when X stopped talking & I thanked X for the time. On the other hand, I reached out to Y after my call ended with X. Y was on the other hand very warm & listened to what I had to say. The questions that Y was asking was very apt, it showed that Y was listening to what I was saying & the questions were based on the inputs that I gave and finally we concluded with a solution. My trust for Y increased and a deeper connection was formed. I then connected Y with the person seeking for help. I know this is a very simple example but the crux is, many a times we are oblivious of what we are doing, how we are showing up. Simple & powerful tools are ignored & we tend to get lost in things that looks important but not necessarily.
Same goes with the professional connections too. When you drop everything that you are doing at that moment & give that exclusive attention to the person in front of you talking, you not only win their respect & trust, but build a connection deeper than you ever realized. The same goes vice versa. So next time you ask this question, "How can I gain trust & intimacy?", don't forget to check if you are using that simple powerful tool or not. Also, while talking are you preparing the next question in your mind to impress the other person of your knowledge/wisdom or you are deeply listening? The connection will be formed when you do the latter not otherwise.
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Life & Organizational Development Coach