Whether it’s your personal or professional life, success in either category really weighs on your ability to develop deep and positive relationships with others. But despite what many people think, the majority of us aren’t born with a natural ability to do this. Thankfully, these type of fundamental skills can be learned with enough time and effort. To improve your connections with your partner, your family or your co-workers, here are some effective strategies you can use to build more meaningful relationships with others.
Learn How to Listen Deeply
There are a lot of digital distractions that keep our minds tossing and turning almost constantly these days, which really impedes our ability to focus and listen to others. In addition to these chronic distractions, many of us weren’t taught how to actually be good at listening. But in order to build more meaningful relationships, this is where you need to start. As humans, we all have a desire to be heard and understood, which is why we naturally develop bonds with others who actually hear us. So remember to put down the phone (or turn it off completely), and practise how to really listen to others.
Dig Deeper By Asking Questions
Another great strategy for showing others that you really are paying attention and care about what they’re saying is to ask them questions — but not just any questions. It’s important to ask the right type of questions, like reiterating parts of what they just said in order to show your sincerity in understanding them. Showing genuine interest allows people to feel more comfortable about opening up.
Remember What’s Important to Others
While listening to your friends, partner or co-workers, try to remember important aspects about them. Usually, you can pick up on cues that tell you what’s meaningful to them, such as when they mention their children, and suddenly their face lights up. Remembering everything people say isn’t necessary, but picking up on what is important to them, like remembering their name, their spouse’s name or a special achievement they mentioned, can make all the difference in building better relationships.
Manage Your Emotions
Experiencing mood swings now and again is normal. But learning when to tuck your emotions away temporarily when engaging with others, is necessary, too. If you’re experiencing an emotionally turbulent time, you’re better off being honest by explaining to the person what’s going on instead of pretending to listen to them. Being honest and open about these things can be far more beneficial in strengthening your relationships.
Be Open, Genuine, and Trustworthy
Being open with others is another important piece of the puzzle, however, knowing when to be open and when to pace yourself is crucial. Sharing your life story right off the bat when meeting someone is never a good way to develop a bond since it’s inappropriate for the depth of the relationship at that initial point. So learn to pace yourself. Also, your own level of confidence, sincerity, kindness and trustworthiness really matter to others. People are far more prone to build great relationships with people who maintain a positive outlook about themselves and their environment, who are kind-hearted and genuine.
Whether it’s with your spouse, your in-laws, or your business partner, these strategies will help you build more meaningful relationships with others. Learning how to listen, dig deeper, show your genuineness, and demonstrate mutual respect can go a long way in sustaining healthy and happy partnerships.