THE BLOG
11/19/2013 05:50 pm ET Updated Jan 23, 2014

Want a Life More Deeply Connected With Others?

Rather than letting more days rush by why not practice three ways to become more deeply connected in each encounter?

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1. Showing Competence Can Cut Us Off From Others

Ironically, the more successful we are in proving our competence, the greater the distance we create with others. That's because we see warmth and competence as inversely related. Thus, if we view someone in a situation as competent, we assume she feels less warm toward us, according to social psychologist Amy Cuddy's research. This is vital to know because our first impressions of others is based on how warm or cold they act towards us. Thus acting competent, upfront, can cause others to be wary.

Hint: Demonstrate warmth first when connecting with others, develop a bond and then be competent in the work you do together.

2. Lead Like a Conductor

We all hunger for work that's meaningful and, in our increasingly connected world, we see more options for where and how to work. That's why leaders who enable us to use best talents together will become more visible, valued and sought-after. "A conductor is not someone who tells people what to do, but rather orchestrates the work," says Elance CEO, Fabio Rosati, who adds, "A conductor is also an extraordinary motivator and, like a great chef, understands how to use the available ingredients, each person's skills and how those skills can be brought together."
Hint: Hone these skills to become the glue that bonds people together around work that feels meaningful and matters to your organization.

3. Cultivate Interdependence You Can Relish and Rely Upon

An African notion of interdependence, called Ubuntu, is based on the notion, that, "I am what I am because of what we all are." The secret to developing that we're-in-this-together feeling, according to Melinda Blau, co-author of the 2014 book Family Whispering is getting REAL. "It makes us better people and thus better in relationships with each other." Blau suggests we have four essential needs to get R.E.A.L.:

Need: To be part of. This need is met when we strive towards: Responsibility
How it works: Pitching in when you're needed gives you a role in something bigger than yourself

Need: To be seen. This need is met when we strive towards: Empathy
How it works: You can't feel invisible when you feel for other people and know you matter to them

Need: To be safe. This need is met when we strive towards: Authenticity
How it works: A sense of security comes from trusting that others say what they mean and accept you for who you are

Need: To be Nurtured. This need is met when we strive towards: Leading with Love
How it works: Love, kindness, and warmth - delivered and received - help you grow and manage change. For the next four days, keep one of these needs top-of-mind and practice connecting well with others in the explicit way of "how it works."

Hint: For the next four days, keep one of these needs top-of-mind, each day, and practice connecting well with others in the explicit way of "how it works" to have that need met more often.