November 6, 2020 | Entrepreneur

Video conference call to connect with others

How To Build Trust And Connection In A Pandemic

The COVID-19 Global Pandemic has thrown all of us an incredible set of challenges. What we may have taken for granted in the past – our ability to connect and build trusting relationships is far more challenging now – especially as many of us work from home. The COVID-19 pandemic is clearly a time of new challenges and hurdles that no one could have predicted. So how can you build trust and connection right now? Professionalism is still the name of the game here. Keep in mind who you are and how you may be coming across.  Your current reality may be very different than a client or a contact’s day-to-day experience.

It’s a time to be exceptionally professional, acutely aware of others and how we wish to handle ourselves on a daily basis. Our generation has never experienced a global pandemic. None of us know how to do this well. We are all learning and navigating a constantly changing world. In many cases, people are far more tired and stressed than usual. Remember that when you ask for someone’s time, you are asking them to care more about what you have to say than what their current priorities. To handle this wisely, consider the criteria below so that you can build trust and connection with others.

Emotional Intelligence / Self-awareness

Emotional intelligence or emotional quotient (EQ) is one of the key pillars of a successful leader. The reason is that those with higher emotional intelligence are typically very self-aware. This skill allows people to connect much more deeply with others.

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Empathy is a powerhouse skill. The ability to hear and understand what someone else is going through is a skill that is rare in life, let alone business. Stepping outside of your own viewpoint and being present with what the other person is experiencing is an incredible skill. Empathy goes beyond compassion by allowing the groundwork for a deeper connection and understanding with others.

Social Awareness

Social awareness is closely linked to empathy, EQ and self-awareness. Be aware of what others may be experiencing, and do not push too hard. Catch yourself if you are pushy or demanding, or selfish. Read the signs that the other person or team is giving you. Some people feel a lot of loss right now, whether that is economic, social, familial or health. Being mindful of others’ needs will allow you to navigate the relationship and build connections over time respectfully.

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How To Reach Out To Others

Consider offering socially distanced coffees or walks. Moving your body while talking with someone is a powerful way to lower stress levels, allowing us to connect on common ground in person. Yes, video calling is common right now (however, zoom fatigue is real for many people), telephones are always a good solution, and text, as we all know, is easy but sometimes lacks the connection we are looking for. Keep thinking of ways to connect with your social and professional groups. Be creative and respectful of health guidelines and other people’s individual needs.

Many of us feel disconnected from what was our pre-pandemic normal life. Reaching out to others and authentically connecting and finding ways to be of service is a powerful way to build trust and connection. It may take more energy and time than in the past, but this is an investment that will help you and others you reach out to.

In this socially distanced time, hiring an executive coach is all the more beneficial as it can improve your self-awareness, daily habits, business and increase your bottom line while ultimately helping you communicate more effectively both internally and with clients. 

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