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10 Ways to Build Social Connections

Assessment

Which of the following is not a benefit of building social connections?

That's right, good job!

The correct answer is: Healthier eating

Not quite!

The correct answer is: Healthier eating

Being socially connected creates a sense of belonging within your community — whether it’s with your colleagues, friends or family.

Forming healthy connections can lead to a better quality of life and help you be well personally and professionally. People who are socially connected live happier and longer lives with fewer health problems. They have lower levels of anxiety, stress, loneliness and depression and are more confident and self-aware.

Here are 10 ways to help you build social connections:

  1. Listen and learn
    Instead of listening to speak, try listening to learn and understand more about a colleague or friend. Active listening, the process of fully absorbing, concentrating on and understanding the message that’s being relayed, is a lifelong skill that can help you grow personally and professionally.
  2. Schedule, plan, commit
    Whether it’s after-school sports, an early morning meeting or deadlines you commit to, it’s important to stay connected amidst your busy schedule. Plan time in your day (or week) to connect with your family, your colleagues or a friend. Once you make a commitment, write it down or set an alarm on your phone so you don’t forget.
  3. Volunteer
    When you do good for others and the community, you do good for yourself. Volunteering for a cause that’s close to you helps you connect with organizations and individuals who share common interests, values and beliefs.
  4. Improve existing relationships
    Focus on a few small ways to improve your existing relationships with your significant other, children, family members, friends or colleagues. Letting go of the small things, communicating effectively and prioritizing your time are all great places to start. Unplug from your electronic devices and connect on a deeper level with your loved ones.
  5. Commit to small acts of kindness
    Forming a personal relationship with your colleagues can play a role in your happiness and performance at work. At the start of each call or meeting, acknowledge attendees with a simple “Hi, how are you?” or “How is your day going?” Asking someone how they’re doing or how their day is going may seem like a small gesture, but it goes a long way.
  6. Become a mentor or mentee
    Become a mentor to a younger colleague or friend by sharing your advice and expertise. If you’re early in your career, become a mentee to learn from others, develop new skills and find encouragement. Both opportunities will help you build a relationship based on trust, knowledge and positivity.
  7. Learn the art of conversation
    Open yourself up to creating new friendships when you least expect it by introducing yourself to new people and engaging in meaningful conversations.
  8. Try something new
    Have you always wanted to try your hand at painting? Or write a short story? Try something new that interests and excites you. By joining a new class or trying a new activity, you will likely meet people who share similar interests.
  9. Build cultural competence
    Cultural competence is the ability to effectively communicate, understand and interact across cultures. Have respectful encounters with colleagues who have different backgrounds from yours. Try learning from them and understanding their points of view. If you show respect, you will gain respect in return.
  10. Ask questions and show interest
    When engaging in a conversation with a friend or colleague, ask questions and repeat what they are saying for clarification. When others see that you are trying to understand them and are actively listening, they are likely to share more and trust you.

Assessment

How can you build social connections?

That's right, good job!

The correct answer is: All of the above

Not quite!

The correct answer is: All of the above

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