“Connecting with others when we feel disconnected from ourselves (i.e. our purpose, our own goals, etc.). This has been kind of tricky for me; I feel like I don’t know how to introduce myself sometimes because I’m no longer defining myself by who I’ve been, but I’m not quite sure yet who I’m becoming and it makes me feel like I want to wait to jump in until I figure it out.”
If this has ever run through your head – in part or wholly – you’re in plentiful company.
The conundrum was shared with me, by a newsletter subscriber (FYI – share any questions you have with me, anytime – glad to field them!).
This goes precisely to one lesson I teach my coaching clients and audiences:
Focus on connecting by asking pleasant open-ended questions everyone can answer, easily and comfortably.
And it’s exactly why I discourage all clients and audiences to never ask the question: “What do you do?”
Here then are some tactical ideas to help you keep connecting when you feel a bit disconnected.
- Prepare some open-ended, pleasant conversation starting questions. A few go-to’s for me include “What’s been a good thing about your week so far?” “What kind of music do you enjoy listening to?” “Have you tried any new foods/read some interesting books lately and if so, tell me about them.”
- If someone asks you “What do you do” before you can ask them a question first, then simply say, “Thanks for asking – let’s start by talking about you first. Tell me about one thing that keeps you busy.” Notice: I didn’t recommend asking what they do, I recommended asking what keeps them busy. That’s different and you’ll get a much broader wealth of information. Information which you can then build the conversation on.
- If anyone presses you or you’d really rather not (and I toooootally understand this feeling), then simply tell them respectfully, you’d prefer to talk about something else. Done directly and with a smile on your face, most people will accept this and move on.
- Complainers aren’t connectors. It’s destructive at best and keeps you in spin cycle. Connectors are POW: Positive, Objective, Willing. Focus on the good stuff, and let the other stuff go. Use your closest confidants to confide and support you in this way.
Above all, know you can connect even if you feel disconnected in some way, in some part of your life. Simply keep doing it!
Finding your people is what it’s all about. Finding people you want to connect with, doing interesting meaningful works. There are oodles of them out there, just waiting for you to begin a conversation.
And often, we can help ourselves re-connect when we find them.
p.s. you’ll always find terrific people to connect with at our live events…