How can you stand out from the noise to make a great connection quickly? This video will provide an important key to make a better first impression, or even turn around your existing relationships that seem stuck in negativity.
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How do you make a great impression or a meaningful connection? Find the “uncommon denominator.” Don’t worry. I’ll explain. This week we’re Off Balance On Purpose in Georgia.
Once upon a time, back in math class you learned a lesson about combining fractions. When they didn’t seem to fit together, you had to find a number they both had in common, and reduce it to it’s simplest form, or the “lowest common denominator.”
The problem is that some people apply this principle to forming human connections. When encountering someone new or different, they gravitate to the lowest point of agreement. What’s wrong with the world? What’s broken? Who’s at fault? If we can quickly get to a negativity match, than we form a connection, which oddly feels like we’re building a positive relationship.
In reality, the reflex to “aim low” and seek negative agreement can turn our unique “fractions,” into “factions.” Circumstances and problems are generally not simple, and when you try to make it so, you shut down a lot of subtleties, and the chance to appreciate and learn what you don’t yet know.
What if we could create better interactions? Instead of finding the low point for agreement, seek the “highest common denominator.” What can we both agree is working well? What is possible? What do you appreciate? What do you observe that is unique and special? Take a chance to match a positive attribute or aspiration, rather than reducing the extraordinary to it’s low point.
Seeking higher agreements may not initially be easy or feel natural. Partly that’s because you don’t always go first. But realize, when others are focused on the lowest common denominator, they are still seeking a connection. Don’t shut them down. Find a positive way to interpret their outreach.
When someone comes to you with a complaint, resist the false choice of agreeing with their premise or arguing against it, because neither option will build a lasting bond. Instead, offer a different, higher perspective that they might also consider, and that might be enough to form an uncommon connection. Until next week, stay Off Balance On Purpose.
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