Have you ever been at a gathering when you aware of an energy shift? It’s that shift of attention so engaging, you must look up from your conversation to observe the gradual migration of people toward an individual that just entered the room.
You too feel that same attraction and want to be connected with this warm and inviting person, although not quite sure exactly why you are drawn to their energy. This quiet but powerful level of magnetism is a perfect example of the power of authentic and transparent connection.
There is a part of us that wants to share in the warmth and comfort evident around that person’s special energy. Whether that individual has a high level reputation, enjoys celebrity status, or simply displays a presence that attracts others, it is real and it is powerful!
For most of us, we too want to discover how to effortlessly influence others through the pureness of connection without the fear of rejection, barriers or even words. So what is it exactly does this person have? If you are thinking it is tied to someone’s good looks, or charming personality, this could be initially true. But the real power connection goes far deeper than words and physical demeanor.
The magic happens when two people or even an entire audience feels connected to another, both physically and emotionally. There is a power that captivates without domination or attracts without arrogance. This power is based on an influence factor that emanates from a reverence of respect for the life flow that links the message, energy and the relevance to that particular moment in real time.
True authentic connection uses many forms of both physical and “other than physical” forms. Words, of course, play a large part of the connection, but that special connection goes beyond noting similar interests and styles.
If you have interest in cultivating your connection factor, consider these factors:
• Self-Acceptance: People who strive for real connection are confident about themselves. This self-assurance is not limited to ones’ competencies, but rather their acceptance themselves, including their own imperfections. They appear comfortable with the knowledge of not only their strengths, but also of their own limitations. They also accept that we all benefit from the competencies of others, and that it is quickly apparent that they offer a “no-judgement” zone and connecting is a safe and comfortable place to be.
• Attention: The art of focus and attention on another person is perhaps one of the most gracious gifts we can exchange with each other. Recognizing that the interaction is a gift, a person with high engagement is sincere and focused on truly being connected in the moment. This pureness or captivation in a conversation of any kind is rare and resonates on a deeply personal level. As an example, as a young writer for a major newspaper, I was called in to meet with the editor. He was physically a very big person and his desk was elevated on a platform. He seemed immense and intimidating until he started to speak. He simply asked me this question; “How are you?” Although somewhat terrified, I was able to mumble the response, “I’m fine”. He stopped and looked straight at me and said, “How are you…really?” In a business appropriate manner, he opened the door and invited me to be more present in the conversation. This simple act of being more purposeful with a meaningful interaction showed a sincere interest and set up a great professional relationship that endured for several years. The key here is to be authentically interested in “listening” as well as “hearing” and purposeful on your intent to invite connection. Attention is your first opening to deeper and more authentic engagement. That high level of listening will help us communicate in the exact terms of the other person’s interests.
• Value: Value and its relevance to one’s needs is another key factor to connection. The above mentioned listening skill enables us to truly understand the other person unique values. You will discover, that should you have contact with ten people in a given day, the outcome is your realization that ten distinctly different definitions of value are in play.
We all experience sensory overload! Between emails, texts, phone calls, voice mail, deadlines and more, our need to filter incoming information is heightened. When you provide the opportunity to connect with communication that offers strong relevance to the recipient, the likelihood of engagement is almost guaranteed. The value of your messaging is the first step to the attraction factor, followed by the element of timing.
As an example of value and timing: If I have just enjoyed a huge lunch, your invitation to another immediate lunch invitation at that moment would be less enjoyable and less likely to happen. That said, should the option for lunch appear at a different day or time, the value of the connection is more probable. In the world of business, understanding the timing of messaging through predictive marketing campaigns serves your prospects in a time dissemination that may resonate at just the right opportunity to connect with you and your services. The timing element is tied to the priority of their needs and the value of the relevance as a solution at that moment.
• Transformational: When authentic connection is established, your preferred outcome is to maintain and grow the connection. Whether you are connecting for business or on a personal level, each of us looks to be connected with people we know, like and trust. The trust factor is pivotal to the growth and retention of the connection. Trust and stress tend to be inversely proportional in business relationships. To keep the relationship stress low, get the trust established at a high level. If you offer a commodity service, you may be trading on competitors based on price, but even then, there are other factors to developing the relationship from a one-time exchange to a life-long customer or client. The key is gaining understanding through a solid needs analysis/discovery process, to learn what they need, and distinguish that need from their wants and help them to achieve their goals. When you position yourself as a “go to resource” you offer more than a product or service. Imagine their loyalty factor when you recommend a resource of which they were unaware! Your goal to foster high trust and transparency is to become a trusted resource. Even if you are presenting to an audience that you may never see again, the interaction and engagement lives beyond the program as you created a transformational event that triggers an emotional link between you personally, your message, and what they needed to hear at that time.
• Influence: We measure influence in many ways both positively and negatively. When referring to influence in this context, we aim to demonstrate how to leverage our experiences and wisdom to positively help others. When you display sincere humility, you’ve opened the door to real differentiation. When we eliminate the ego factor, your interactions move beyond success into significance.
Every moment of every day we encounter engagement. Whether it is momentary, like a quick smile in an elevator, or a head nod of appreciation, the success of the connection is highly determined by our awareness to seek opportunities to be of service to others. Improving our communication skills will of course improve our business, sales and bottom line, but the real power is how our interactions make people feel about how their encounter with you. If you are ready to reach beyond success and go for meaningful significance, get high on engagement!
Bio: Terri Murphy is a Communication Engagement specialist, author, speaker, communication consultant, and coach. She is the author of 5 books. She is the founder and President of Terri Murphy Communications, Inc.