“Keep an open heart. We are wired to find love.”
— Helen Fisher
Since it’s Valentine’s Day, I am reminded of the importance of making heartfelt connections with the people around us. As humans, we need to connect with other people, and the deeper the connection, the more successful we are in our work, in our relationships, and in our lives as a whole.
Through coaching and training, people learn how to develop their emotional intelligence (EQ), which helps them build relationships and understand other people—in other words, to successfully connect with other people. The more virtual and complex our work becomes, the more critical this skill becomes.
A high EQ—being able to meaningfully connect with other people—is an incredibly important indicator of success. But connection isn’t just about succeeding in the workplace: connecting is about living fully and successfully as a person.
So, whether you seek to connect to a colleague, employee, employer, friend, family member, lover or spouse, here are some great ways to open your heart, open your mind, and develop stronger, more meaningful connections.
Five Tips To Connect More Everyday
1. Talk less, listen more. This shows the person that you are really present. Look them in the eye, listen to what they say, and really pay attention. Stop talking so much!
2. Ask purposeful questions. Purposeful questions are powerful. They dive below the surface, engage new perspectives, and cultivate new ideas. Move beyond “nice” and try to make a heartfelt connection. Don’t just ask how their day was or where they work; ask something interesting.
3. Turn it off. Your screens and gadgets, I mean. Nothing says “I don’t really care about you” more than choosing your smartphone over the person you are actually with.
4. Give them time. What most of us really want is someone’s time and attention (I’ve heard it said that kids spell love t-i-m-e.) Try to remember that when you are with people. Give of yourself what you can and try to focus on quality time and attention.
5. Recharge yourself. You can’t give what you don’t have. So often, we push ourselves to the very edges of our day, to the limits of our being. In order to connect meaningfully with others, we must remember to take the time to reconnect with ourselves by recharging. Find time throughout your day to be still, to reflect, and do something for yourself. A little goes a long way.