Your ability to connect with others directly impacts your level of influence.
But when you look around, disconnection happens all the time:
- The busy CEO who never has time for his or her family.
- The colleague you try to get to know, but with whom you can never seem to break past the surface-level conversations.
- Your friend who only seems to care about talking about his or her own interests.
Disconnection is everywhere, and it’s undermining our influence.
What causes us to disconnect? And, more importantly, where are you disconnecting?
Every person you’ll ever meet wants two things:
1) To be successful in one way or another, whether we define success around personal, professional, spiritual, or other terms; and
2) to build deep and meaningful relationships with others.
Ultimately, we all want to do “good work” that makes a difference, and we all want to connect with others. In short, we want community.
These competing desires often cause a tension we call “work-life balance.” Most people talk about work-life balance as a “time” issue, but in reality, it’s actually more of a mindset and priority problem than anything to do with the scarcity of our time.
Personal and professional growth and development can be broken down into 3 areas:
- IQ – Intelligence and Hard Skills
- PQ – Personality Wiring and Self-Awareness
- EQ – Emotional Intelligence and Relational Connectivity
The Nature of Influence
Now, think back to the person who has had the greatest impact and influence on your life.
What made them influential? Was it because they were extremely smart and possessed a high IQ? Maybe.
Was it because they knew their personality type well and took Myers-Briggs or DISC to learn how to use it effectively? Potentially.
We’ve asked this question to thousands of leaders around the world, and by far the #1 most common answer is this:
The most influential people in your life are the people who are able to connect with you best.
The Power of Connection
It’s the best sports coach you ever had. It’s the person who pushed you harder than anyone else, but who you always knew he was always “for” you, rather than against you or just in it for themselves. It’s your friend who takes the time to listen and ask questions to better understand what you’re going through. It’s the boss at work who leads with both support and challenge, and empowers you to thrive.
Connectivity is important, and yet, it’s probably one of the most urgent areas of need for most of us adults. We simply become “too busy” to invest in the soft skills of self-awareness and relational connectivity.
For those looking to find an answer to the question of connection, we have created a concept we call the “5 Gears.” It’s all about learning how to be both “present” and “productive” when it seems like there is never enough time.
The 5 Gears is a connectivity tool that uses the analogy of a manual stick shift to condition our minds and our tendencies for better, smoother relational connections.
Throughout our day, certain moments call for different gears. Each gear is important and should be used appropriately. Unfortunately, the vast majority of us only use 2 or 3 gears, so we miss out on the value inherent in the others. This is where the issues of “work-life balance” arise in their most glaring form.
When we’re able to shift our mindset between focus mode, multi-tasking, connecting with others, recharging, and more, we actually begin to experience meaningful growth in our influence and productivity.
If this sounds like something you want to learn more about, check out our book “5 Gears: How to be Present and Productive When There Is Never Enough Time,” or hop over to our blog posts on the subject if you’re pressed for time and want the abridged introduction.
If you’re interested in learning more about how your connectivity affects your influence and leadership, we’re happy to schedule a meeting to discuss. Just click the contact button and let us know!