The job search/networking group I'm a part of does a lot of speeches/sessions highlighting the differences between people in terms of age, personality type, and cultural backgrounds since business places can be diverse and job interviews can be tricky to navigate when you don't know the person well. These lessons are supposed to bring greater clarity and understanding towards people from different walks of life so you can then relate to them better. As the ONLY millennial/young person in the group it is incumbent upon me to step in and clarify certain misunderstandings that occassionally arise with regard to my generation.
"Millennials have a tendency to do "ABC" for reasons "XYZ".
Me: "Well actually my generation does "ABC" for reasons "QRS" because..."
The frustrating part of during each of these sessions I want to scream out, "We're all HUMAN!!!" You can differentiate people in a million different ways, and it's good to seek understanding towards people different from you, but at the end of the day if you're going to connect and unify with someone it's going to be over the fact that you have things in Common. You share insights, you share energy, you share compassionate caring for a cause... You gotta find what unifies people.
And so on yet another chart marking distinctions between people (this one was on different generations and their tendencies in the workplace), I listed the main approach I take towards UNIFYING with people regardless of who they are.
There's no way you can read all of the stuff I wrote off to the left on that sheet. Stupid scanners can only do so much. So here you go, positive approaches to forging genuine connections with fellow human beings:
1. Accept people as is. Don't judge. Don't define. Just allow to be.
2. Read Energy. (If someone is enthusiastic feed off that energy and ride that wave with them. If someone is calm/relaxed -join them in that state. Share in people's energy.)
3. LISTEN. Don't impose your thoughts, take IN the insight someone is giving to you.
4. Be Respectful. Don't worry about how the other person is acting -extend RESPECT.
5. Care about people. Extend patience and understanding to them. Focus on your caring towards them.
6. STORIES. Stoies are one of the easiest ways to connect to people. Listen to other's stories and share your own.
7. Focus on Giving/Supporting -not Taking. People can sense when you want to use them as a means to an end and they will Never trust someone like that. Focus on how you can add to the lives of others -what you have to Give.
8. We're all HUMAN. This reality eludes people sometimes and people will put others on pedestals and shove others into gutters. We're all human, none of us are perfect, we can all relate on that basis.
9. Be Honest with people. Sometimes people will try to re-arrange the way they act and express themselves to please others or appear "better than they are" to them. TRUTH is something all people appreciate. Being honest about who you are and coming from a genuine place adheres you to others more than any fake appearance could ever do.
***Bonus #10 because a list of Top 10 things sounds better than 9:
Throw in Color/Humor/Personality. The office/business space has the unfortunate ability to mute the color pallet of human existence. Don't let that space wash away your colors. Throw in humor, throw in YOURSELF to a conversation. It's a part of being "Honest" -giving a true representation of who you are. It puts people at ease and makes them more comfortable most of the time. People like being around people that are human -not pre-programmed robots.