By James Rick
What value can you put on confidence of Cruise? The charm of Obama? Or the suave of De Niro?
In Daniel Goleman's best selling book Social Intelligence he concludes that the greatest successes in life aren't usually the most talented or brain smart – the most successful are very good at communicating and connecting with people (socially intelligent). This makes sense - human beings have survived for eons and become the most dominant species on the planet because of its ability to overcome challenges as a tribe. To acquire the social skills that allow you to “tap into” the power of the human tribe can give you an almost unfair advantage over others.
Knowing how to work with others is not just something you are born with, (although it might seem that way for some people) it's actually a skill that can be developed and mastered with effort. And because we derive so much joy from our relationships, mastering the ability to connect with others is perhaps one of the most rewarding things you could ever learn.
What follows are 13 principles you could immediately start putting into practice to develop your ability to connect with others. These principles will strengthen your social intelligence and open up a plethora of opportunities and experiences that might not otherwise have been available.
Principle 1: Master Effective Communication: Learn the art of body language; the words and tone of your voice convey precisely what you mean. The success of a communication is based on the response. If people don’t always respond in the way you’d like them to, take responsibility and improve how you communicate.
Principle 2: Connect with Purpose: Two people must share a purpose for connecting or the connection will inevitably grow apart. That purpose must be known to both people.
Principle 3: Find Many Ways to Say Thank You: Deep down everyone wants to feel loved. A safe form of love is appreciation. By showing sincere appreciation for others, you make them feel good. And being the source of their feeling good, they will want to associate with you.
Principle 4: Want but Never Need: Learn through meditation or prayer to love your self and be at peace when alone. A whole person that would be perfectly happy by themselves but wants to share the life experience with others is more desirable to be around than an incomplete person that selfishly needs others to feel complete. One is an addition in the lives of others, and the other is a subtraction.
Principle 5: Have a Clear Outcome: This works in all aspects of human relations, whether it is in sales or matters of love and friendship. Knowing where you want an interaction to lead will help you guide it there in a thousand little ways.
Principle 6: Learn from Others: Whether you are talking to the laborer in the field or the president of a country, ask questions and be genuinely interested; there is something to learn from every person’s experiences.
Principle 7: Add More Value than You Receive
The universe is like a great bank account and every interaction is an opportunity to make a deposit (add value) or a withdrawal (subtract value). You are rich in your ability to add value all the time, no matter what your background or circumstance. Trust that the universe will pay interest (reward you) for having a surplus of deposits.
Principle 8: Consider Lifetime Value: People are people for as long as they are alive. In business, this means the value of a customer is more than their first transaction. If you add value by delivering more than you promise and find ways to serve their needs in the future, you almost virtually guarantee long-term success. As a rule, treat everyone as though you’ll be dealing with them for a lifetime, and never engage in any short-term gain that jeopardizes your character or reputation.
Principle 9: Build Rapport through Regular Contact: Communicate regularly with your network and strive to add value in every interaction. It’s not enough to simply be visible; you want your visibility to add value in some way.
Principle 10: Build Reputation but Never Believe It: Build a reputation, for honesty, goodness, and value and be these things. Know yourself and never be knocked off center if others criticize or insult you. The truth will eventually be known, and a calm demeanor says more than words.
Principle 11: Live with Integrity: Your behaviors define you. When you live with integrity, you honor your top values with action. Living a life of integrity means doing what you feel is most important—not what others say is important.
Principle 12: Practice Open Communication: Communicating openly does not mean giving away everything. It means being sincere in your efforts to improve relations with another person, even if that requires bringing something out in the open that might be painful at first.
Principle 13: Give of your Gifts: Identify the unique set of talents, skills, and passions you have to contribute to the world. Find ways to combine and use them to add the most value in working with others.
If you liked what you read and you think it will be useful in your life, think of some ways now that you can apply it. For information to be retained it must be applied immediately. Think of a situation in the future where you could apply at least two or three of the 13 Connection Principles you read in this article. Experiment and notice your results. Revisit this article often as you develop your social intelligence into mastery.
James Rick (also known as Mr. Full Potential) is founder of FullPotential.com and the Full Potential Philosophy. He helps people around the world create and condition high value routines for their personal life, business and relationships. He is the author of Unleash Your Full Potential: The Secret for Revealing Your Hidden Power. For more information, please visit, www.FullPotential.com.