Written by Sajid Alimohamed on April 16th 2018

It is difficult to do many things right if we are not present and in the moment. Our need to be productive, multi-tasking and having every second of our day occupied is overwhelming for one thing, but it turns us into robots and we are becoming more and more desensitized to our human qualities. We are neither here nor there, and we are constantly losing out on experiencing life because we are hardly ever fully present. It’s even difficult for us to recall what we ate two days ago, let alone who we met, where we went, what we did, etc. 

How can we connect with people if our mind is not present? When I have the intention of connecting with someone on a ‘deeper than surface’ level, I try to be present. I try to unplug from the things that are on my mind, unplug from my gadgets so that I can be respectful, give my full undivided attention, make eye contact, actively listen and exchange ideas. It’s amazing how easy it is to have a deep, meaningful and engaging conversation with someone when I and the other party practice this. If I am not able to unplug from everything outside of our conversation, then I’ve basically missed out on a great opportunity and the same goes for the other party.

As a leadership developer, one of the things I encourage my clients to do is to make the time in their schedule to go out and establish ‘deeper than surface level’ connections with acquaintances and to meet new people. Connecting with individuals on a meaningful level has many benefits. Some of the benefits include learning about someone else’s story, sharing interests, understanding needs, establishing new positive relationships and developing synergies. It’s one of the keys to moving ahead in life as far as your career and business is concerned as well as increasing your general happiness and fulfillment. Just imagine your life if you made new connections with great people on a regular basis and are able to surrounded yourself with people you help and people who help you in kind!

This past week while I was at a Starbucks I was fortunate enough to run into an old friend. I saw this as an opportunity to make a meaningful connection so I closed my computer, put away my phone and invited him to join me. We shared an epic conversation that revolved around what we are both up to, how we can help each other, how to develop a positive outlook as a daily habit, and making the decision to be in the moment to lead a fulfilling life. We exchanged numbers, agreed to reach out to help one another and he continue on his way.

One of the most valuable thoughts he shared with me was his way of starting up great conversations. When he’s asked how he is, he tells people that He is having the best day of his life!

Other person: “How are you today”

My Friend/Me/You: “You know what, today is the best day of my life!”

After trying this out myself, I realized a few things:

a. If I’m down before this point, it changes my state and I feel great immediately!

b. It improves the state of whoever I’m telling this to because in almost every situation the other person perks up, smiles and inquires as to why? “What happened?!!”

c. It is a great starting point into a ‘deeper than surface conversation’ and a chance to make a connection.

What opening lines do you use to start up a ‘deeper than surface conversation?

What have you experienced regarding connecting with others on a deeper level?

Sajid Alimohamed

Sajid Alimohamed helps youth, young adults, professionals and business owners build their leadership capacity and become engaging leaders. He is an expert at helping his clients Lead themselves, their lives and the teams that they work with to have directed and fulfilling lives.
If you're interested in building your leadership capacity and living your life in the most fulfilling way then reach out by visiting the 'contact' page and schedule an exploratory call today.

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