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Don’t Just “Network”

Life and business strategist Tony Robbins has said, “The quality of your life is the quality of your relationships1.” While hard work, passion for what you do, and determination are all key factors when reaching for a successful life, we cannot underestimate the importance of our interactions with others.

We’ve gathered a few tips for making your relationships more meaningful and, thus, more effective in your life.

Don’t just “network”

We’ve all heard of the importance to “network,” but what does that really look like for successful people? According to ABC’s “20/20” interview of four of the world’s most wealthy and successful billionaires, making connections isn’t about networking. Instead, “[build] real relationships and friendships where the friendship itself is its own reward” rather than seeking to know the “right” people for your own personal gain. Success naturally follows when we are good to those around us.2

Be a treat to be around

“Emotional contagion” is the tendency for those around you to pick up on, understand, and even absorb your feelings and emotions into their own behaviors. In other words, you can influence others simply by having a positive attitude and bringing joy to those you encounter. One study suggests that emotions can spread through offices “like viruses3“! Thankfully, whether your “emotional virus” is a good or a bad one is mostly in your control. We all have bad days on occasion, but understanding the way your moods affect others can change the way you treat them. You just may be more successful by being happy to your friends and coworkers!

Emphasize your similarities

Did you know that people are more likely to enjoy your company if they perceive you to be similar to them? According to a study by psychologist Theodore Newcomb, the more time you spend around someone and the more you seem to be similar, the more you will like one another4. Be authentic, however: people can tell when you’re faking similarity to seem more likable. Just be yourself!

Be flexible

Being flexible in your personality has a variety of benefits! You are letting go of the need to control every situation. Your open mind and flexible nature allow you to learn new things and be open to new ideas you had not previously encountered or understood. Flexibility also shows others that you are easy to work with; you are accommodating to what differences you may have. Overall, being generally flexible allows you to work with and enjoy all types of personalities, which makes you a better friend and coworker!

There is no short cut or magic word that will instantly perfect your relationships. But these tips provide valuable resources to further the depth of your relationships — and thereby improve your personal and professional success.

Information provided by:

1. http://www.positivityblog.com/index.php/2007/07/25/10-inspirational-quotes-on-relationships/
2. http://abcnews.go.com/Business/20-2020-billionaires-20-keys-success/story?id=14821206
3. https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-science-work/201410/faster-speeding-text-emotional-contagion-work
4. http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1957-07607-001
5. http://www.positivelypresent.com/2010/09/7-benefits-of-being-openminded.html