Connecting through one-to-one communication

Adapted from Leading by Communicating

During challenging times, leaders can find strength in relying on those around them. Yet, to enlist the help of others during crises, leaders must first cultivate strong relationships with those who would follow them. One-to-one communication can act as a powerful tool in building and strengthening relationships, primarily because it allows one individual to directly invest in another individual’s life. The principles of one-to-one communication center around the themes of building connections, establishing trust, and maintaining trust. There are nine principles total, with three principles relating to each of the three themes. This week, the following principles can help you build connections with others.

Find Common GroundBe attentive to the other person’s communication, searching for common interests and shared opinions. Especially in the beginning of this relationship, your communication should center around the things that connect you to the other person. By maintaining this focus, you will forge a stronger bond with that person.

Prioritize the Needs of OthersEven in small ways, we must acknowledge the things that others need and want. We must show them that we consider their needs in our own decision-making process. When you speak to someone one on one, ask for the person’s opinion and invite the person’s input. Additionally, allow time for the other person to contribute to the conversation.

Encourage Others – Work to identify the strengths of others and comment on these strengths in your communications. If someone seems downtrodden, offer some uplifting words. Focus on positive aspects in your discussion, and avoid sarcastic, caustic humor that puts others down.

As you interact with the individuals in your life, reflect and ask yourself: “What do this person and I have in common?” “What are this person’s needs?” “What words will most encourage this person today?” Then, use your answers to guide and shape your one-to-one communication this week.

Click here to learn more about how LTI teaches individuals to lead through communication.


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