The Key to Building Professional Connections

In the professional world, people are often laser-focused on their professional skills and the content of what they have to say.

However, the ability to connect with others is essential to your success as a professional.

Whether you’re trying to land a new client, ace a job interview , or build relationships with colleagues, superiors, or employees, the ability to build rapport is crucial. What are some ways that you can connect with others, build rapport, and form positive professional connections?

  • Smile! Some people confuse seriousness with professionalism. While you want to remain professional, simply smiling can make all the difference in how others feel around you. Smiling makes you seem approachable and friendly, characteristics that everyone wants in a colleague, partner, or employee.
  • Relax. There are many professional situations that may make you feel tense or nervous. However, if you are obviously nervous and uncomfortable, it will make those around you uncomfortable as well. Don’t go overboard and act overly casual, but try to relax enough to allow your personality to shine through.
  • Be positive. Have you ever been around a person who just has to put a negative spin on everything? They bring everyone around them down, and people begin to associate being around that person with feeling bad. You don’t need to be artificially sunny. Be realistic and address problems when needed. Just try to maintain a positive tone and attitude when doing so, and look on the bright side whenever possible.
  • Use the Other Person’s Name. Hearing your own name out loud creates a positive feeling and makes the listener subconsciously feel more connected to the speaker. If you’re having trouble connecting with a particular person, try casually using their name once or twice in your next conversation.

  • If your communication skills are holding you back from professional success and you want to make your communication skills your most powerful professional tool.

    Related: 6 Communication Tips for a Stronger Culture and Environment