The longer I live, the more convinced I am of the power of connection—and especially connections of the heart. Unlike computers, rocks and steel, we humans have emotions and spirits that can be lifted, energized and ignited by a relational connection. We know that but grossly underestimate the power of those connections.
Our Strongest Connections
When conducting workshops, I often ask participates to think of a time when someone connected with them, asked about their dreams, believed in them, and spoke into their lives in a way that fueled them upward and onward in their life and career. The stories they share are sometimes emotional and always inspiring to everyone in the room.
Now, pause to reflect on the person who connected with your heart and helped fuel your dream job, or provided a booster rocket along your path. What did they do or say that made a difference? Now, what about your leadership? How could you be a “launcher” who impacts and influences another person’s career? Recently I’ve learned more about how this works.
Connection is Scientific
Dr. Richard Boyatzis has studied, researched, and written about emotional intelligence and resonant relationships for decades now. The data is clear that, what he calls, resonant relationships are the most powerful method known for coaching and developing people.
In his new book coming out this month, Helping People Change: Coaching with Compassion for Lifelong Learning and Growth, Dr. Boyatzis describes a resonant relationship as one that is built on a positive emotional tone and a genuine, authentic connection with the other person.
His research shows conclusively that –
“positive relationship connections help people create change that is holistic and sustainable.” [Tweet This]
This is the principle that is borne out in the stories that people share about their positive experience with the one who launched them into the success they now enjoy, living out their dreams of many years ago.
Applying this Heart Strategy
We’re excited because now we can better understand and be even more confident in the process we call “Connecting with the Heart”.
Let’s look at some practical ways that you can be a career and life coach who launches people into being their best authentic self –
- Become mindful (aware) of yourself and the other person. Lower your intensity, relax, and set all your problems and concerns aside for a moment to focus on the person in front of you. Give them your full attention. Act as though there is nothing else in the world more important than them.
- Let your emotions show that you are excited to be around them and interested in what they are interested in. Ask them about their dreams and passions. Listen and resist judgement or temptations to correct, change, or fix any response they give.
- Let them know that you believe in them. Stay positive and share something you have seen in or about them that supports their vision. For several years I’ve facilitated men’s small groups where we do an exercise like this to affirm each other. We refer to it as “calling out your glory.”
My Heart Connecting Leaders
As a young college student, one of the most influential and respected men in my small hometown spoke into my life. He always gave me a big smile when we met. Knowing I was very committed to Air Force ROTC, he would often greet me by saying, “Well hello general, how are things with you?” The message I received was his confidence that I had what it took and that I was going to go a long way.
Later as a young fighter pilot in the Vietnam war*, my Wing Commander, Colonel Bob Maloy, would greet me with a genuine smile and act like he was delighted to be flying with me. He let me fly most of the time and asked my opinions and respected what I said. Then he chose me to fly with him on the day we flew the 3,000th combat sortie for the Gunfighter wing at Danang. The amazing thing was that these were very busy, very successful people, old enough to be my father, yet they set everything aside, and cast their focus on me long enough to encourage my future.
Slow Down and Connect
“In an incredibly busy and often results-focused world of the 21st century, it’s easy to overlook the power that we have to inspire others by connecting with their hearts.” [Tweet This]
We need to pause and remember how crucial it was for us—and now it’s time to pay back the bank. Will you be one who reads this blog and becomes more intentional about building resonant relationships? I hope so. I wrote it and I am. Let’s see how many of us can give a positive report before the September blog comes out. LE [Tweet this Article]
P.S. Don’t forget to look for Dr. Richard Boyatzis’ new book mentioned above releasing the first week of September. You don’t want to miss it.
NEW! A Self-Study Training Course for Your Team
We’ve just released the new Engage with Honor Group Training Guide as a self-study leadership development course for your team. Used with the award-winning book, Engage with Honor, this training guide provides everything you need to build a culture of courageous accountability.
“Connecting with the Heart” is a training session in this course.
Download a free sample in the Leading with Honor Store
Purchase your copies – bulk savings are available