According to leadership author John Maxwell, “Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.”
Connecting (aka – building a relationship, having rapport or a bond) with people gives you an edge when it comes to success in business, as well as in life.
I have noticed that the most successful people build strong connections by applying the following simple, yet powerful principles, on a consistent basis:

  1. Unsolicited appreciation – they offer positive and affirming comments to others
  2. Unguarded openness – they demonstrate trust and seek input from others to enhance their relationships
  3. Increased communication – they express themselves more readily and objectively
  4. Enjoyable experiences – they feel good about what they are doing and enjoy the richness and fullness that can come from healthy relationships with others
  5. Growing synergy – their effectiveness is greater than the sum of the contributions
  6. Increased creativity – unique and innovative ideas are offered spontaneously to others with the goal of helping others succeed
  7. Passion – they have positive energy, drive and are optimistic about what can be done versus focusing only on the bad or negative

Questions for personal reflection and application:

  • If you are in a leadership position, have you noticed a relationship between these connecting principles and the influence with your team?
  • If you are in a business development role, have you noticed a relationship between your project success rate and your connection with each client – internal and/ or external?
  • If you are a self-aware leader, have you noticed how much more effective and credible you are in the eyes of others when you apply the seven principles listed above?

The ability to connect with others begins with understanding the value of the person and who they are based on their talents and skills. Connecting with people always adds value to the relationship for both parties.

Connecters are leaders that people want to follow!