Relationship building skills are essential to succeed in most life endeavours, the least of which is getting a new job. From garnering job referrals to gaining rapport with hiring managers during an interview to generating glowing personal references, your ability to connect with others can affect all aspects of your job search and career.
If you’re waiting to strengthen these skills until you need a new job, you’re waiting too long.
The best relationship-builders have chosen to build their relationship skills throughout life and can rely on them in times of need. If you are willing to become conscious of how you’re relating to others – regardless of how shy, self-conscious or introverted you are – you too can master these skills.
Ignite CEO Julian Sallabank believes that everyone can build connections every day with every person they encounter. He lives by the motto, “Treat every person as if they are going to be the most important person in your life” and encourages his staff to do the same.
“You never know who you’re going to meet or who they might become. People grow, change and commence their career journeys from some pretty interesting places,” he says. “Can you imagine how different the world would be if people could look beyond an individual’s current station in life and see them for their greatest potential?”
Choosing to treat everyone as if they will be the most important person in your life does just that. It elevates those around you and allows you to have deeper, richer interactions. And the connection can benefit both parties for many years to follow.
“I’ve been staggered by the opportunities that have been presented by embracing this philosophy,” Sallabank says.
Acknowledging and respecting individuals immediately changes the dynamic and allows everyone to more easily connect – particularly if you bring enthusiasm, openness and a genuine interest to the conversation. In other words, you display your best self which allows others to do the same. But if you find this new philosophy and approach doesn’t help you instantly connect with everyone you meet, don’t fret. With intention and practice you’ll soon reap the benefits.
“Enthusiasm is one of your greatest assets. It is better than money, power or influence–with enthusiasm you become the master of these.” Earl Prevette
Being enthusiastic is not only fun but it’s infectious. Meeting someone who will be the most important person of your life should generate natural enthusiasm. If the sheer pleasure of getting to know someone isn’t enough, studies show that creating connections and being more social improves self-esteem, heightens immune function and may even help us live longer.
You don’t need to be outgoing or charismatic to bring enthusiastic energy to your interactions, you just need to remind yourself of all the ways connecting with people can bring more joy and benefit to your life.
“Who you are is speaking so loudly that I can’t hear what you’re saying,” -Ralph Waldo Emerson
Emotion drives our physical demeanour. When you are enthusiastic it’s easier to look happy, make eye contact and display an open body stance – body language that indicates you are interested in another person and care about how they feel.
Become conscious of your facial expressions and posture and choose to practice open body language. Even if you skew toward introversion, choose to notice the colour of the eyes of the person you’re speaking with to remind yourself to make eye contact and start interactions with a smile.
“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.” -Dale Carnegie
Everyone has a life outside of the context you’re meeting them in – they have families, jobs, interests, hobbies. When you are speaking to someone who could be the most important person in your life, you’re interested in knowing them on a different level.
Whether you’re in a job interview or in line at your office café, get beyond commenting about the weather and learn about them. Your time and interaction will be more interesting and you never know what commonalities or opportunities you may uncover.
Ignite can help you connect with your next career opportunity. If you’re ready to find a new temp, contract or permanent position, search available roles throughout Australia: http://www.igniteservices.com/job-search/