Most of us are so technologically connected that we couldn’t disconnect even if we tried. Many of us fear having to stare down that dark tunnel of technology withdrawal. What we are talking about, however, is connecting versus being connected.

We live in a high-tech world, but building positive relationships is still a high-touch job. Here is a simple way to create real connections. These are connections of which winning relationships and teams are made.

There are three main components: Curiosity, Common ground and Kindness. We call it C2K. It’s a simple tool to initiate connections – human being to human being.

Be curious about other perspectives. At the same time, be willing to question your own perspective.

Questions are the tool of the curious.  Asking questions is selfless and self-serving at the same time. It demonstrates interest in the other party while providing you with insights into someone else’s world – their motivations, passions, challenges, assumptions, and aspirations.

Once you ask, make sure you listen. Don’t ask if you won’t listen – that’s the fast track to interpersonal cynicism.  People who really connect listen at least 50 percent of the time…and most of the remaining time they are asking questions.  

Keep it simple by asking questions like: 

  • So, what do you think? (followed by “Tell me more.”)
  • How did you develop that perspective?
  • What do you think about the opposing viewpoint?
  • Have you ever considered ______?

Common ground
If you are diligent about asking questions you will naturally find common ground. Find common ground as a platform for building a relationship or even building a bridge to mend a relationship. When you really observe, watch, ask, and listen, it’s easy to find things in common.

This is more about your mindset than it is about reality. Consider two people who are at odds and walk away from negotiations as a lost cause. Then a mediator walks in and quickly finds a win-win solution. The contentious parties are focusing on differences while the mediator is focused on commonalities.   

Being kind is a simple, elegant way to demonstrate your appreciation. A sincere compliment is the quickest way to turn an enemy into an ally, a frown into a smile and resistance into acceptance. 

Look for things others are doing right. In addition, look inside of them to find a trait you admire. Are they punctual? Creative? Optimistic? Intuitive? Selfless? Do they have high integrity?

There are abundant opportunities to acknowledge others for what they do and who they are.

So, forget about connecting through Wi-Fi. Instead, use C2K to really connect!