Why is it we click with some people and not others? What if we could actually click with everyone we meet? What would it take?
Try these simple steps to instantly connect with anyone--and to build stronger relationships with the people who are already in your life:
Take a genuine interest.
Everyone--everyone--has something unique to offer. Find out what makes people who they are. Hear their story. Ask questions. Dig deep and connect.
Build on common ground.
At its most basic level, any relationship is built on some kind of common ground. When you meet someone, try to find something that connects you to similar backgrounds, values experiences. When you detect a pattern, a "Yeah, me too!" moment, connection is instantaneous.
"Smile and the whole world smiles with you." Sure, it's a cliche, but for good reason. A smile generates enthusiasm and interest; it communicates friendliness and goodwill; it shows you to be accessible and approachable. Smile when you speak to someone, as you walk into a room, and when you pick up the phone.
Notice how people introduce themselves and let that be your guide in addressing them. Remembering a person's name is important, and using it occasionally in conversation creates connection and helps you remember.
Encourage people to talk.
The key to locking into any relationship is to invite someone to talk, and then listen. Most people are just waiting for the other person to finish so they can say their part. Listen and show interest, even if it means stretching your attention span.
Learn from everyone you meet.
Keep the focus on the other person. As a bonus, this prevents your being dragged into gossip. Stay focused on his or her interests; find something this person can teach you that will be useful or interesting to know.
Show up with enthusiasm.
People who live with passion find it easier to connect with others. Knowing what you really care about and why lets you tap into your own enthusiasm. Upbeat people are inherently likable, and those who radiate enthusiasm tend to click with others.
Make others feel important.
Use your words and attitude to create a spotlight. Let the person you're speaking with know he or she is important, and important to you, by the way you talk. Let the sound of your voice be energized. Ask for input. Ask for advice. Ask for help. Ask for insight. Ask for experience. All of these invitations tell the person, "I find you important."
Look for the good.
Be generous with others; look for points of agreement and places where you can affirm or reinforce what they're saying. Speak patiently and with care, and those around you will feel heard and appreciated.
Treat others as you want to be treated.
As often as we've heard this, it's still easy to forget to do it from time to time. Don't overthink or complicate it: The power is in the simplicity.
Connecting with others does not take much. It is truly simple. Just be mindful, thoughtful, and genuinely interested.
Offer an honest compliment or your authentic appreciation. There's always something to appreciate about almost anyone.
Maybe it's nothing more than being genuine, as simple as being a leader--or a person--who cares, because when you care, you'll instantly click with everyone you meet.