I’m going to tell you the #1 secret to effortlessly connect with, influence, and convert anybody. It’s one of the most important things you need to know to make a real difference in others’ life. No matter whether your audience is your spouse, your boss, or your customers.
One word. Generosity.
Before you yell at me “C’mon, how trite!”, I want you to consider this. Generosity, i.e. giving rather than taking, starts way before you give the other person anything tangible.
The kind of generosity I’m talking about has nothing to do with how much time or money you give someone. It isn’t even about the attention or care you give.
Generosity is a state of being.
An example. Last week I went to see an improv comedy show. It was one of the worst shows I’d ever seen. But not because the performers were not funny or slacking on their job. In fact, quite the opposite. They were diligent and eager to please. However, I felt uncomfortable sitting in my chair. Because the vibe the performers were giving out was literally screaming to me: “Please give us your love, give us your validation, give us your support. Otherwise we simply don’t know how to go on with this show!” As an audience, I was energetically propping up the actors the entire time. An hour later, completely exhausted, I couldn’t leave the theater fast enough.
Being energetically sensitive, my feeling about the intangible give and take between people is more pronounced than average. But the fact is we all feel the energetic dynamics between ourselves and others all the time, no matter whether you’re consciously aware of it or not. Another person coming out of the same show might just tell you that she didn’t love the show and didn’t know exactly why, but she knew she was not going to go back for sure.
What distinguishes a master performer from a mediocre one, aside from skills and talent, is that the master recharges the audience energetically, while the amateur takes something away.
Every human interaction is an energy exchange. We tend to be open and receptive towards people who give us energy, and shut down from people who drain us. If you’ve ever interacted with an overly aggressive car salesman, you know what I’m talking about.
Most of the time these dynamics happen unconsciously. But it is as real as the sunrise.
When you want to connect with someone, influence opinions, or motivate changes, you maximize your chance of success by placing yourself in the state of generosity.
Here’re the guaranteed ways to put you OUT of generosity:
– You can’t be generous if you’re exhausted and empty. No matter how good your intention is, you need to have it in order to give it. Giving does not happen from a state of depletion. Heed this one if you believe that overworking and overachieving is the way to get ahead.
– You can’t be generous if you want something badly from the other person. That’s why for most people it’s hard to be in a generous state when they’re in a job interview or on a first date. When you desperately want to win someone over, whether it’s for their love, buy-in, applause, or dollars, you’re immediately out of the state of generosity.
– You can’t be generous if you believe your self identity is tied to your art/project/venture. If you let the success or failure of your project become a measure of your self worth, it’s difficult to be generous. Because now you can’t afford to make any mistakes. No wiggle room means no generosity.
In contrast, generosity spontaneously happens…
– When you’re centered, patient, and calm.
– When you are not afraid to fully embody who you are.
– When you connect with what makes you excited and passionate.
– When you know that opportunities are abundant and there’s no need to get hung up on any one.
– When you let go the expectation of how things should turn out and just play with whatever arises at any given moment.
– When you trust that no matter what happens, all will be well.
Before you take action to connect with someone, no matter whether it’s a meeting, phone call, or even email, check within yourself of whether you’re in a state of generosity and to what extent.
Start with generosity. Magic will follow.