Business has changed. It is a relationship-driven environment more than ever before. Blame the Millennials, if you wish, for their insatiable appetite for peer approval and willingness to share. What do you personally stand for has never been more important than it is now and unless you genuinely connect with your tribe and followers, you and your business are dead in the water.
I’m going to state the obvious here: stress levels are high. Do you regularly feel disconnected and rushed? I certainly do. Employers expect us to work over weekends, we’re supposed to answer emails within five minutes, and most of us feel guilty if we go home at five o’clock when there is still work to do. We don’t have enough time to eat or exercise even close to how we should in order to maintain good health. That means we are prone to burnout and all the physical ailments, mental issues, and problems in our personal relationships that come along with it. We just don’t have the time to get it all done and it’s ruining our lives by affecting our connection to friends, family, and our teams.
To deepen connections and build these relationships, we must increase our awareness of what it is that we are doing, and not doing. Rushed responses, one-line answers, nodding our heads in response to one person while feverish texting another is hardly the stuff good relationships are made out of.
Don’t hate me, but as I write this, I am on a spring ski getaway in beautiful Alta, Utah to reconnect with myself after weeks of intense work-related stress. (It’s part of my new “what are you waiting for?” attitude.) I’ve had two realizations so far. The first came as I was gently swaying in the chairlift with my man. He’s the outdoorsy type and absolutely loves the mountains. I asked him what it was about being in the mountains that was so relaxing. His reply really struck home. He said that the big, wide outdoors helps him put things into perspective. Really, we are only tiny specks in the universe and what matters is now, HERE, at this very moment. Let’s enjoy it.
My second realization was that stepping out of regular routines and adding adventure and exploration allows us to connect better and deeper with other people. Why? Because the simple act of unplugging from daily routines heightens our senses and we begin to see things that have long been outside our radar.
Therefore, getting that new perspective and doing something different will create deeper connections. Hmm… That got me thinking. What if we could take these principles and apply them to our jobs?
Let me explain.
I am a corporate speaker and trainer, so it is essential that my audience feels my sincerity and genuine desire to improve their personal and professional careers. What if being able to make meaningful connections with my audience members is the final piece they need so they can absorb my message better? And if that is the case, how do I (and how can you) make those types of connections happen?
A story I read as a child in Germany has been entrenched deep in my memory for decades. It is about a girl named Momo who fights the evil time thieves as they steal a minute here and a minute there from unsuspecting people. The thieves are always in a hurry. There is one sentence in the book that I remember vividly to this day. When Momo confronts a time thief, she asks him, “What do you do with all the time you steal?” The thief had no answer.
Let me ask you now, if you were to give yourself that one extra minute—that one extra moment—to make a stronger connection, how would it change your life? How would it change the lives of people around you? Yes, you are in a hurry. And yes, time is of the essence. But at the end of the day there is only one thing you are remembered for, and that is how you made a person FEEL.
I am asking you to slow down for just that one extra minute. Please claim that moment back and discover how much deeper and more meaningful your connections can be. One minute won’t make a big difference to the amount of work you get done, but it can make a huge difference in how you affect a person’s day.
And that is the thought I’d like to leave you with before I head out for my last day of skiing. I sure do love the mountains.