Turning Contact Into Connection
As I sit here in my office, writing/typing and talking to a microphone at my desk, it occurs to me that the reason I put so much time into my blog is that it’s a place for me to work out my ideas for the benefit of others. Though it’s something I do in isolation, I actually feel connected to my readers while doing it. To that end, I want more readers for my blog. And I’m thinking that for that to happen, maybe I need to be more assertive. So before I go any further, here’s the key idea. Please, SEND A LINK, TELL YOUR FRIENDS AND ASSOCIATES ABOUT MY BLOG, PASS ALONG MY WRITING WHEN YOU THINK IT MIGHT BE HELPFUL!
How was that? Clear enough? It points to a point I often make with my students and clients. You’ve got to ask for what you want and need, otherwise people are too busy with their own lives to figure it out. That’s a basic rule of relationship, right?
Call it an assumption, call it an observation, or call it a rule of relationship. But whatever you call it, it will help you turn contacts into connections. My next book, coming in June 2011, goes into the myriad of ways you can accomplish that result. And over the next few months, you’ll see more posts along these lines.
That’s good for you. And it’s good for me. Far as I can see, that is how it is meant to be.
But where to start? For now, how do you turn contact with people into real connection? It all begins with your assumptions about people, since our assumptions are foundational in everything we do.
My wife brought home a book a few years ago. It was called ‘The Four Agreements’ as I recall. The first agreement, she explained to me, is ‘Make no assumptions.’
“That guy is assuming I can do that!” I replied. We laughed. I wasn’t kidding. I…we…make assumptions about all kinds of things. Our assumptions help us navigate through life. Without them, we’d be like babes in the woods, taking in everything, understanding nothing. Our assumptions are the framework on which we build our lives, relationships and careers.
And I say, if you’re going to assume something, assume something useful. Seems to me that to find your way through conflict, it helps tremendously to base what you do on a set of useful assumptions. Assume the best, project the best, and you’re more likely to get the best out of people, places and even things! And that best place, that’s where connection happens. You’ll get further, faster, and with more pleasure and fun, if you base your movements and interactions on useful assumptions!
Assumptions like these:
If you have to be right with people, you’re doing it wrong.
Nobody cooperates with anybody who seems to be against them.
People do what they do for what they consider a good reason.
The person with the biggest network wins.
Isolation is a killer.
If you don’t ask, the answer is always no.
I’d love to hear some of your useful assumptions about successful relationships, things you tell yourself that help you to deal with conflict and challenge better, that enable you to get better performance out of people than others before you may have done. They say confession is good for the soul. So if you don’t have any useful assumptions, I’d be happy to hear a few of the assumptions you habitually use to limit yourself!
I’d also love to hear some of your questions, answers too. I assume that the better the questions, the better the answers.
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.