Our holiday season is already packed with fun, family activities, and attending social events. As I watch people mix and mingle, I observe how they engage in conversations. Some seem to talk, just to talk — and often about themselves — what they were doing, and what they were planning. Here’s what strikes me: It’s obvious when someone is trying to make authentic connections versus when they are just making verbal noise. Let’s be real. Strong brands have no problem showing up authentically. They realize that trying to be inauthentic takes waaaay too much effort. Here’s how to make authentic connections and be comfortable in your own skin.
1. Care about making connections. Connections happen emotionally. When you hit on a topic that has meaning for the other person; when you share something about yourself that resonates with someone else; when you care enough to have relevant discussion. It’s not that difficult. Just put yourself in the other person’s shoes and consider what might have meaning to that person. It’s not all about you…at least not for making connections that count.
2. Decide to care. Many of us have social anxiety, not really wanting to go to the social event in the first place. That’s normal. Having said that – when you arrive, it’s up to you to make the event worthwhile. So just decide to care about coming away with something impactful. How? Look for anyone who’s standing out by standing alone. That’s likely a person who doesn’t feel comfortable. So make the effort to reach out. You never know the gem of a person you might find—someone brilliant who has stories to tell, who has resources you might need, or who is lonely and simply needs a friend.
3. Own your brand. Give yourself credit for what you DO, what you KNOW or what you BELIEVE. Stand taller when you are making a presentation or meeting someone. Show presence, even those times you have doubts or lack confidence. Make those authentic connections and own your wonderfulness. No one else can, BUT YOU.
Read more about Furthering Your Christmas Presence.