As I share these amazing conversations I have had on my podcast, I am in awe of these women I have interviewed so far. They are all coming into their own and sharing so much of themselves in what they do and aiming for alignment and authenticity in everything they do, I am honored to be a part of their badass journey. One topic that has come up in a few of the conversations excites me to share here as well, and that is the sensitive topic of vulnerability.
In this day and age, we see a lot of people putting themselves on display to create a version of themselves that they desire others to know, but may lack the true vulnerability it takes to build an honest connection. There isn't a number of likes, hearts, emojis or even text messages that can create the deep connection that you get with face to face or voice to voice interaction. Yes, digital media allows us to see into the lives of others, and sometimes it feels like TMI, but when you really want to go further in your business, in your life, in your relationships, getting face time is key.
In my practice, I give people the space to share their fears, their truths about certain circumstances, their true desires so we can map a course for them to take to heal, let go, outline a strong vision that is authentic to themselves, and list out the goals to get them there. But first, they must be vulnerable in sharing their thoughts with me, no matter how hard, in order for us to get them to where they need to go. I share this with you because as a Leader, Mentor, Advisor, Team Member, and/or Coach, creating the space to listen and share honest opinions and thoughts is key to creating a thriving environment across all relationships. You can't always understand someone's true sentiment online. It's hard to decipher the subtext of a text. Creating a dialogue of understanding is key to moving forward together. This type of dialogue requires some skill, so I want to share some of these tools with you, this way you can create a deeper connection with others, and also feel safe and free to share your truths.
If the only way you have been communicating with your friends, team, colleagues, and clients is via text or instant message, the next message you should send them is to ask when can you meet in person next? Set a date on the calendar and follow through.
Agenda for when you meet - kicking off the conversation:
Once you are done with the small talk, start with this statement:
"Name of Connection, I am so glad you agreed to meet face to face. I have been challenged by my coach, Kareen Walsh, to work on building a stronger connection within my network, and she has given me a format to follow to assist me in kicking this off with you, and also provide space for me to get to know you better. Before we get started, would you be interested in getting to know each other better?"
Yes, great! Here we go...
List of Questions to ask each other. You ask the first question, and listen, then ask your connection if they would like to know your answer to the same question or ask another. Go back and forth down this list until you feel you have learned something new you did not know before.
What are you currently working on or striving for that I can assist you with?
What is one challenge in your life that you wish you could overcome with ease?
What is your favorite dessert and how many times a year do you get to eat it?
When you want to celebrate a huge accomplishment, what do you do? When was the last time you celebrated any accomplishment, what did you do?
Is there a place you have travelled in the last 5 years that you would go back to again? Is there a place you would NEVER go back to, why? What happened?
When you think about how others perceive you, what do you think they would say?
What are the things you think we have in common, what are our extreme differences?
What is your favorite morning beverage?
Tell me a story about your upbringing that I may not know, that impacts how you live today.
At the end of your conversation, that your connection for taking time to meet with you and get to know them better. Share what your takeaways are and ask if they have anything they would like to share that they learned from this conversation.
Thank them for being real and sharing a piece of themselves with you today.
**If you are unable to meet in person, you can definitely do this exercise over facetime, skype, zoom, just make sure it has video so you can see facial expressions and connect eye to eye.