Success in Connecting by Stu Schlackman

The Art of Connecting with others is probably one of the greatest skills we can develop. The problem most people have is that they communicate and try to connect with friends, clients, co-workers from “their” perspective and not the perspective or style of the other person. Think about it, how do you prefer to communicate with someone? Do you like to listen and ask questions, or do you prefer to do most of the talking. What about the other person, what’s their preference? The 180 Rule will help you connect in a more meaningful way by taking advantage of our natural tendency toward a negative bias and flips our perspective 180 degrees. By asking what we would do if we wanted to fail at connecting with others, we can then examine what we are doing or are perceived to be doing that may be preventing success.

So what are some of the characteristics of poorly connecting with others? You would probably not want to maintain eye contact. You would most likely not listen, you can easily interrupt the other person’s train of thought by taking over the conversation and leave no room for their feedback. Now that we know what won’t work, let’s turn it around and see what does work. First question you might ask yourself is what type of personality am I dealing with? Is the person one who likes to do the talking or asking questions. Will you listen with purpose to understand what they are really saying and maintaining eye contact will help you understand what their gestures are truly meaning. Ask questions to expand and better understand their point of view.

The bottom line is to be present, listen with purpose and understand what’s most important to the other person – their perspective.

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Author: Stu Schlackman
The 180 Rule for the Art of Connecting