7 Steps to Forge Lasting Connections

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Effective communication (the kind that actually works!) is arguably our most impactful life skill, yet unfortunately, one most of us are not very good at.

While numerous books have been written on the techniques of effective communication, only a handful explore who we are required to be(come) in order to be successful at this seemingly simple task!

I put it to you that every effort we make at communicating stems from one of two mindsets.

We are either aiming for connection or for control.

In other words, we are either trying to force an outcome (control) or we are hoping to get closer to the other (connection) — even if we have to wade through temporary discomfort.

I don’t often use the word “always” but I will here. Communicating from control is always a bad idea. If it doesn’t get us in trouble right away, it certainly will in the long run.

 

 

Here are 7 ways to identify if you are aiming for control:

  1. You are hearing but not listening.
  2. You’ve already made up your mind about the “right outcome”.
  3. You have an agenda although you say you don’t.
  4. You need to prove that you’re right.
  5. You know what’s best for the other person even if they themselves don’t know it.
  6. You feel like the other person owes you and should follow your counsel.
  7. You try to make the other feel pity for you.

The problem with controlling communication is… while you might win the battle you will surely lose the war — the battle being the subject of discussion, and the war being the trust and connection in the relationship.

 

On the contrary, communication that aims for connection lands very differently and leads to higher trust, intimacy and depth.

 

 

Here are 7 ways to identify if you are aiming for connection:

  1. You are led by curiosity.
  2. You are willing to be wrong.
  3. You can hold space for the other person’s emotions, no matter how upset they might be.
  4. You are able to shut down the voice in your head while the other is speaking.
  5. You can hold space for your own escalating emotions without reacting in the moment.
  6. You use the word “and” far more than, if not entirely in lieu of, the word “but”.
  7. You are able to hold two opposing points of view simultaneously.

 

Yesterday, we entered a new moon phase, one known in the Jewish calendar as Rosh Chodesh Av. Spiritually, this is an auspicious 24 hours for deepening our connections with yourself and others.

Now that you understand the difference between communication that connects vs. the kind that controls, I invite you to set a goal for the next 24 hours to practice the 7 steps for creating connection through communication.

Don’t be surprised if you create a miracle or two!

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