How To Truly Connect – The Secret To Guaranteed Success



Have you ever wondered what special super human powers some people have that makes other drawn to them? Like a moth to a flame? How do they manage to connect so easily, and yet you find it so challenging? Picture this – you attend a meeting, a networking event or a conference and you know nobody. Are you the person that beelines for the coffee machine and looks intently at your phone to avoid eye contact? Do you agonise about when this thing is going to start so you can fade into the crowd and the attention goes to someone else?

For those that follow my posts, you’ll have already met my 11-year-old daughter, Rebecca. Yesterday I dropped her to Pony Club. She doesn’t have a horse. She doesn’t know anyone who goes there. But she has become passionate about horses. During the holidays she sent an email to the local club asking if she could come along to a rally and help out. As I drove off, leaving her with this group of complete strangers, my heart tugged. Why? At the thought she might spend the day alone, feeling self-conscious.

I needn’t have been worried. She followed my advice. By the time I picked her up, she had made two friends and couldn’t wait to go back again.

So what advice did I give her?

I told her how to truly connect. And by doing so, guaranteed she would have a successful day. She just had to focus on these three areas:

1. Belonging

Belonging is about feeling welcome. Into a group, a team, a meeting, any social situation where there are people who don’t know everyone in the room.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you the person who stands around waiting for someone else to approach you and make you feel special?


  • Are you the one who approaches others who look anxious and alone and welcome them?

It’s pretty gutsy to put yourself out there and brave rejection. Approaching others and introducing yourself with a smile on your face might not feel natural for everyone. And yet, think about any situation where someone has done this to you. I bet what came over you was a sense of relief. It feels great to feel like you belong in a room, to a tribe. Whether it’s your first day, first meeting, or a one-off event, if you’re like most people you’ll be feeling a little nervous.

Even though she was the one alone, Rebecca smiled at these girls and said hello, rather than waiting for them to approach her. She stepped outside her comfort zone to connect.


2. Significance

Significance is the quality of being important or worthy of attention. To cause someone to feel unique, special and needed is the doorway to their soul. When you show genuine interest and curiosity in another person, they experience the feeling of significance.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Are you a taker of significance?


  • Are you a giver of significance?

Takers of significance are those who demand attention. I’m sure you can immediately think of someone in your life who fits this bill! Perhaps it’s displayed in their drama “I’m ok. NOW.” And then they leave that hanging, waiting for you to ask what “What do you mean “now”? Has something happened?”

A giver of significance is someone who lights others up by acknowledging them for a job well done. They make a positive comment about someone’s appearance or something they did. It’s the leader who gives their team member their full attention, instead of reading the computer screen whilst ‘listening’.

In our community there are so many ways to be a giver of significance. It could be a smile to a stranger. Picking up something that someone has dropped on the ground. Offering your spot in the queue when someone has less items than you. Or giving a verbal compliment to someone rather than just thinking it.

This one was easy for Rebecca yesterday, she complimented the girls on their beautiful horses and asked lots of questions about them and their connection to riding.

doorway to the soul

3. Contribution

People want to feel like they make a difference in the world. It gives us meaning and purpose to our lives.

Ask yourself the following:

  • Do you sit back and wait for guidance and direction from others?


  • Do you support others by adding value to their lives?

We tend to follow celebrities, or leaders in our workplace and community that give their time, their advice, their experience, and their knowledge. We use their story to inspire us to live a better life for ourselves.

Maybe you know someone who belongs to a community group.? Do they attend the meetings, but don’t speak up, don’t volunteer for committee roles, and just take what they need and go? Or do they share their stories to help others learn, offer to help set up or pack up, ask if they can do something extra between meetings to help out.

Yesterday, even though Rebecca didn’t have a horse to ride (“you know Mum, the fun bit!”) she was there, willing and able to help out where needed. She helped her new friends clean the horse, put the blanket on him and get his gear together at the end of the day. She contributed.



When you watch the people you admire as great leaders, who connect easily with others and people want to follow, notice how they do these three things.

Now I ask you, were you happy with your answers to the questions? Or are you planning to make some changes to your current behaviour?


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