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Ten Ways to Improve Your Connection Skills:

According to the Center for Creative Leadership, weak connection skills hold many managers back from becoming effective leaders. They base this on a recent book written by Michael Lee Stallard. I thought I would share with you these ten tips to facilitate connection adapted from Stallard’s new book:
1.    Recognize varying connection needs. Learn about the people you lead and be flexible in how you build connection with them.
2.    Be present in conversation. Give people and the topic your full attention.
3.    Develop the ability to empathize. When someone expresses an emotion, it’s OK for you to feel it too.
4.    Develop the habit of emphasizing positives. Look for ways to acknowledge excellence in the work — and in the way people go about their work.
5.    Control your tone of voice. People react to the delivery of your message before they hear its content.
6.    Negotiate with the mindset to solve a problem rather than to win. A competitive mindset can lead to disconnection and distrust.
7.    Provide autonomy in execution. Don’t micromanage, but monitor progress and be available.
8.    Learn and apply the five languages of appreciation. People respond to different types of recognition. Gary Chapman and Paul White’s book, The 5 Languages of Appreciation in the Workplace, is a great guide.
9.    Apologize when you make a mistake. Own up, tell people you’re sorry.
10.         Develop social skills and relationship skills, and recognize the difference between them. Social skills are important for casual interactions, but relationship skills create deeper connections with fewer people.
SM