Some of the best insights come from those who have learned from first-hand experience, and distilled their wisdom by living by what they discerned, and writing and speaking about it in humble actionable ways.
1. Use Connective Body Language
I spent most of my professional career recruiting foreign spies to work for the FBI. I relied upon my body language to build trust with them. Here are six universal cues of connective body behavior that can help you, too, in most any situation: maintain eye contact, mirror the other person’s movements and positioning, lean in as they speak, never cross your arms, nod slightly throughout the conversation to show you’re listening, and give a genuine smile which means the skin around your eyes crinkle. As you act, so you become. As you change your body language, so you become. To build trust, focus on being interested, rather than interesting.
~ LaRae Quy, author or Secrets Of a Strong Mind @LaRaeQuy
2. Benefit of the Doubt Benefits Relationships
When you’re irritable—not at your best—you have good reasons, right? If people knew how early you had to get up to get to the meeting, they’d cut you a little slack. In other words, you give yourself the benefit of the doubt. So why do we rarely do that for other people? Instead we think a grumpy colleague is just a grump. Must be genetic or a behavioral choice. But maybe he or she is facing a troubling situation. It may not excuse the behavior, but it helps us understand it. And that makes for a better relationship.
~ Mark Sanborn, author and speaker on leadership development @Mark_Sanborn
3. Conflict Can Create Deeper Connection
Conflict quickly becomes personal. That’s because we don’t like it when someone gets in our way, and we often translate that reaction into not liking that person. Instead of complaining about them to others or avoiding them, see it as an opportunity to create connection. Focusing on behavior and not personality, tell them what they did and how it affected you. Then hang in there and listen to what they have to say. You will find that resolving conflict is a path to deeper trust and respect and a deeper connection with each other.
~ Jesse Lyn Stoner, Seapoint Center for Collaborative Leadership @JesseLynStoner
4. Practice Hopi Wisdom
Over a Thanksgiving get-away to Sedona, Arizona, my husband and I were honored to listen to Donald Nelson of the Masi Fire Clan, Third Mesa, in the village of Kykotsmovi. He spoke with simple eloquence about the Hopi way of life, rituals, and ceremony. Among his many pieces of wisdom, one struck me as essential in building any relationship. The Hopi greet each other with a phrase that sounded like “Um-pee-too”. It means “Are you here?” (Google translate does not speak Hopi.) Only this present moment matters. How often to we bring the past into a relationship? We recall the offenses, the slights, and the misunderstandings. Or we jump into the future, imaging responses. In truth, we can only connect in this present moment. “Um-Pee-To.”
~ Eileen McDargh, The Resiliency Group
5. Use Video to Energize Relationships
Email can be rather dull. Voice alone can leave out vital parts of communication. Using video through tools like EyeJot, BombBomb YouTube, Gloopt and others let your connections see you, feel your emotion, and observe your non-verbal reactions. Video is a much more natural way to communicate. In business it brings better results than just text. Learn how to create videos quickly (good for you) that help communicate comprehensively and dynamically (good for others). Done right, video can help you establish, build, and maintain important relationships.
~ Terry L. Brock, MBA, Professional Speaker Hall of Fame