Connecting with others – kids, parents, volunteers, staff – is central to what we do. Whether a staff member, lay leader, or just a believer, we can’t serve others without making a connection with them. For some, this comes naturally. For others (my hand is up!), connecting isn’t such a natural process.
But here are 3 keys that any of us can understand about how to effectively make that connection:
1. Love Them.
I’m sure you’ve heard the saying, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Trite, but true! Connection is built on trust, and trust comes when someone know you’ve got their best interest at heart – that you care.
From another angle, Jesus said the 2 most important areas to focus on were loving God and loving others. Our love for others will be a natural outflow of our love for God. Love God . . . love others. And you know as well as I do – when you genuinely love someone, you delight in serving them, right?
This opens the door for deep connection.
2. Laugh With Them.
According to medical professionals, laughing together has multiple benefits. Socially, these include:
- Be more spontaneous. Humor gets you out of your head and away from your troubles.
- Let go of defensiveness. Laughter helps you forget judgments, criticisms, and doubts.
- Release inhibitions. Your fear of holding back and holding on are set aside.
- Express your true feelings. Deeply felt emotions are allowed to rise to the surface.
When people know we love them, and when we are willing to laugh with them, it continues to build the trust factor which is critical for connections.
3. Lead Them.
I believe leadership is influence. If this is true, then all of us lead others in some way or another. So lead! Not leading in a natural leadership situation actually disconnects others from you.
Of course, if your in a position of leadership, this is especially true. Seems obvious, but some of us are afraid to lead strong. Don’t be. People want you to lead. And I have found that, in a position of leadership, when I actually lead I make far better, deeper & stronger connections.
It allows people to believe in you. To trust you. To give themselves to you and your cause. To know that you are genuine & authentic in who you are and what you represent.
Add loving them and laughing with them, and you’ve got a pretty unbeatable combination – a strong & meaningful connection.
What are some of your keys for connecting?