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Building Bridges by Connecting- Enrich Relationships in Life and Business

Build strong bridges in life and business, and your life will be enriched with unlimited opportunities for you to grow and an abundance of places for you to go. Consider these 4 simple steps to connect at work and home.
'There is a deep savory richness in getting to know 'who' a person is vs. 'what' they do.' Beth Tabak

We all grow from connection. The stronger the connection the more we grow. Yet why do we find ourselves feeling disconnected at times? This fast paced world just sucks us dry of time and energy, and it takes just that to connect. Right? Or does it? Take a look at these 4 simple steps to strengthen your relationships at work and home. Afterall, the more bridges you build the less isolated you feel. The stronger the connection the greater the opportunities that flow both ways, and let's not forget the more interesting each day becomes.

Be Present- Being present for someone is about giving that person your full attention. This entails lookingat the individual in the eyes. The second part is not allowing your mind to wander to what just happened, what you have to do, what you will say next, or why in the world they chose that outfit. Just being in the moment with your child, significant other, customer, employee, friend, business associate, parent, or whoever...lets this human being know that you value them and what they have to share. This is a gift in itself.

Listen- How many people in your life truly hear you? Imagine the impact of someone who listened to you without interjecting their own agenda. Coach U places such value in listening that coaches in their training program are required to take an 8 week Listening Class. A couple of years ago in Listening class our fieldwork was to listen...without responding. One student in the hour before class grabbed his young teenage daughter. He sat down with her and asked what was going on in her life. Then he listened. He was amazed at how she opened up when he listened vs. trying to fix. Their relationship had been deteriorating and within 30 minutes they were on their way to a new relationship. Was it easy for the father of a young teenager to just sit an listen? No, and he did it! It was powerful. Listening without an agenda acknowledges the person for who they are. This is an act of showing respect. Listening to others honors the individual and thereby empowers them and your relationship. Let us not forget that the most successful businesses are those who listen to the needs of their customers and staff.

Be Curious- When you are in the can open up your curiosity. When you become curious about 'who' people are vs. 'what' they do you gain access to this human being's inner wisdom. 'What' questions are a great way to do this. employer asks an employee in the accounting department 'What do you love to do?' Response, 'create websites'. In becoming curious about this hobby the employer learns more about the employee's creative strengths that would benefit the company and make the employee much happier. The trick is to be curious...without an agenda. At networking meetings most people ask 'what do you do?' and then get into the details of the business. How would the relationship develop if you followed up with questions like 'what led you to this career?' This is more likely to bring out 'who' this individual is which generates a stronger bond. 'What is it like to be an Emergency Room Doctor?' 'What do you find yourself thinking about all the time in your business?' What has been your greatest challenge?' Have fun exploring.

Be Authentic- Know that you are great right now. Be yourself. Oh I am sure you heard this before. However, I have been talking to many people out of work lately who have expressed concern over stepping away from their own integrity to try to get in the door to get a job. The only thing they accomplished was feeling bad about themselves. Stay in integrity with 'who' you are no matter what. Take a risk to be candid. It worked for Oprah! Life becomes much easier when you can be yourself.

Develop reserves of deep connections...more than you need... and feel assured there will never be a situation that you can not handle. Build strong bridges in life and business, and your life will be enriched with unlimited opportunities for you to grow and an abundance of places for you to go. For those of you who want to take action, what area will you focus on this week? Take action today to be present, listen, be curious, or be authentic... Starting Now!

Let me know how this works out for you. Please send your comments and tell me what you want to read. l would love to hear from you! Copyright 2003, Beth A. Tabak, All rights reserved.

About the Author
Beth Tabak is a Professional Life Coach and owner of Starting Now. She coaches business professionals and those who want to make big changes to upgrade their business while upgrading their life. Prioritize, systemize, stay focused, and take action. Working with a coach adds support and accountability for greater success. E-mail to set up a free 'Try It Out' session and have your questions answered. To learn more e-mail

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