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Sometimes, it is difficult to connect with someone, especially when it comes to a person you just met. However, much of the success you will have in life will depend on your communication skills and your ability to connect with the others. In fact, “The way we communicate with the others and with ourselves determines the quality of our lives”, said Anthony Robbins.
How to connect with someone?
- The brain captures and processes the subtle signals of communication
“The most important thing in communication is to listen to what is not said”, said the philosopher Peter Drucker. While you speak, your subconscious remains alert to check if your interlocutor is interested in your speech or not. It’s a kind of defense mechanism so you do not get embarrassed. Your brain takes note of everything from body language to the gestures and words of the other person.
Therefore, to connect with someone, it is essential that you take care of your body language. Do not look away for more than a few seconds as your brain will capture that detail and assume that you are not interested in the conversation, breaking every possible connection. On the contrary, paying attention will make the other person feel important and it will be an injection of confidence.
Small details, such as leaning slightly forward while sitting, nodding when you agree with what he says or keep your arms relaxed, never crossed at chest height, will send to your interlocutor the signal that you want to connect.
- Do not make the speech turn around you
If you just met a person and he start talking, do not interrupt him. Some believe that interrupting the story and relating it to his experience is a good strategy to facilitate the emotional connection. It is true, but you must apply this strategy with moderation, because if you exaggerate it can become very frustrating and break any link. Remember the words of Jedd Daly: “Two monologues do not make a dialogue”.
You cannot build trust with someone if that person perceives that every time he starts talking, you will intervene. Not only do you interrupt his speech, but also the emotional flow of the conversation. It is even worse if you try to talk about yourself continuously since it will give the impression that you are a self-centered person who does not care about your interlocutor.
- Pay attention to filler comments
Mark Twain said that “We can discover the character of a man by the adjectives he usually uses in his conversations”. In this sense, abusing of filler comments is one of the most direct ways to tell the other person that you are not interested in his speech. Any monosyllable can become a fill-in comment, such as “yes”, “great” or “interesting”.
These comments are often used to pretend that one is listening, and they can become quite obvious and annoying. We all do it in certain circumstances, but if we want to connect with a person, we simply have to practice active listening, which implies being fully present.
- Do not pretend to know everything
When we talk to others, especially if they are strangers, we want to make a good first impression, for which we tend to draw on our knowledge. The problem is that we may end up looking like a psychological abuser.
It is much better to be authentic, to talk about what we know and recognize what we do not know. The anxiety to make a good impression often has the opposite effect. In addition, recognizing what you do not know is synonymous with humility. And it has been shown that people who make small mistakes tend to be more sympathetic than those who give themselves the air of know-it-alls.
- Imitate the movements of your interlocutor
When we connect emotionally with someone, without realizing it, we synchronize our movements. The key is that we feel so connected to the discourse that we also imitate his movements.
Therefore, a simple trick to connect more quickly with your interlocutor is to imitate some of his movements, to facilitate emotional synchronization. Be attentive to his body movements and replicate them with subtlety.