5 Ways To Become A People Person & Build Connections

people person

Many would argue that human connections are lost in today’s technology obsessed world. We spend hours a day on social networking sites without actually doing any networking at all and are usually left feeling disconnected from the world around us. Video and audio feeds such as podcasts, Facebook Live, Periscope, and Skype have been dubbed as the future of social media and rightfully so. People crave connections and like listening to others to whom they can relate or to whom they feel can teach them and help them grow personally or professionally. But is this really the best way to “connect”?

It is our connections with other people that enrich our lives in meaningful ways. From having a strong support group during a difficult time in your life to networking to grow your business, being a people person is as important as it ever was. And as important as it is to make great connections, it’s really not that difficult. Try these tips to help reconnect and improve your relationships.

Share Your Smile: This is probably the easiest and most basic of all the suggestions on this list (or any other list for that matter). You can almost never go wrong by showing someone a little kindness and smiling at them. Sometimes it seems as if we, as humans, have almost lost our humanity. And in fact, we often feel like robots; just going through the motions to get through the day. So when you come across someone else, smile at them. You have no idea how that one small act can make a huge difference in someone’s day. The act of smiling will make you more approachable and others will be much more willing to talk and interact with you. Also, it doesn’t hurt to add a “hello” or “good morning”.

Eye Contact: Whenever possible, you should always try to make eye contact with the person to whom you are talking. Body language is so important. A lack of eye contact can lead the other person to believe that you are uninterested or simply don’t care, which probably is not the truth. When having a conversation, do your best to give them your full attention and show them that you care about what they have to say.

Listen: Listen, listen, and listen some more. If your voice is the only voice you can hear, you are probably not listening enough. This is a skill that definitely does not come naturally but can be learned over time. Listen to someone and let them talk. Not only should you let them say what they need to say but also listen carefully. Be interested, smile, and make eye contact when someone is talking.

Compliment/Question: Pay a compliment to someone or ask them a question about themselves or what they do. It is important to not make the conversation only about you. Be interested in them and show that you are paying attention. Give them a compliment or if you don’t want to necessarily pay them a compliment, ask them something about themselves. The object is to feel like you have learned something about that person. They should feel good after they have spoken with you. Consider this, people will always remember how you make them feel so choose wisely.

Be Kind: Being nice might be free but it’s not something that everyone is great at all the time. I mean, let’s be honest, we all have bad days and sometimes we may not feel like being nice. Maybe you’re going through a difficult time or maybe you’re just having a hectic morning. Life can be hard. That’s for sure. But, you never know what others are going through in their lives as well. One small act of kindness can literally change someone’s life. Treat others the way you want to be treated. It’s that simple.

When you add these 5 principles into your life, the way other people see you will change. You will attract new friendships and your other relationships will be strengthened as well. If you are already doing these things, then congrats to you! You are probably already a people person and didn’t even know it.

I firmly believe that what you put out into the world will come back to you in some way. Focus on positive energy and you’ll get positive results.

Tis the Season to be Thankful: Benefits of Showing Gratitude as a Leader

benefits of showing gratitude, thank you

It’s a no brainer! Showing gratitude makes relationships thrive and makes trust possible. It is a powerful act that encourages, clarifies, motivates, includes, and unifies.

When we are thankful, people feel valued and they feel part of something bigger than themselves.

But showing gratitude is good for you too.

Being thankful puts you in the right mindset to lead effectively. Gratitude and humility are interconnected. They reinforce each other. We alone are not responsible for who we are and what we do as we can be greatly influenced by those around us. That is the essence of leadership. We are never truly self-sufficient.

Being thankful essentially helps us to protect from ourselves. It is amazing how much gratitude plays into avoiding poor behavior and wrong thinking. Gratitude sets a boundary on our thoughts by making us mindful of others. It helps us to avoid going where we should not go because we are both more self-aware and more aware of our environment.

Gratitude requires that we slow down and reflect. It is the basis of emotional intelligence. It puts other people first. While empathy has been found to be essential to leadership, empathy is not empathy if it is silent. It must be expressed outwardly.

Studies have shown that being thankful is an antidote to depression. It has the power to heal and move us forward.

It improves relationships and is a remedy to envy and greed. It eliminates a leader’s tendency towards entitlement. Grateful people find more meaning in life and feel more connected to others.

In these changing and uncertain times, gratitude is a leader’s ally. Being thankful allows a leader to appreciate where they are and the resources they have at their disposal to face whatever life throws at them. A habit of gratitude gives us perspective. It doesn’t ignore the negative but instead, it moves us towards a solution and helps us to remain focused and persevere.

Gratitude can’t just be something we do is has to be who we are as a leader. More than a behavior or even a mindset, it must come from the heart. It must be our guiding principle.

Leadership begins and ends with gratitude.

How to Achieve A Work Life Balance

work life balance

Are you on the wheel?

Do you find yourself too busy all the time? Running as fast as you can to keep up with all of your responsibilities and commitments? Do you feel frustrated, stressed, or tired?

Many people feel they’re running on a hamster wheel spinning around and around and can’t seem to get off. This seems all too common these days with people trying to achieve the elusive work life balance that everyone talks about.

The secret is to get off the hamster wheel!

Well, you may think, “That sounds easier said than done!”

5 Ways to Achieve Work Life Balance

1. Start the day right: Develop a routine every morning where you take a few minutes to connect with yourself. For those of you who are spiritual people remember your connection with God, spirit, Christ, your higher power or whatever name you use for something greater than yourself. Get yourself into a peaceful and focused space before you start the day. You can pray, meditate, visualize, read, write, whatever it may be.

2. Feed your soul all day: Find a way to feed your soul for a few minutes each day. It can be going outside for a minute, playing some music, or positive affirmation.

3. Review your options: Busy people have 6 choices to make to help them achieve a work life balance.

    1. To reduce the amount of activities they have.
    2. To delegate or get support with their activities.
    3. To reduce the tendency to be a perfectionist and people pleaser.
    4. To set boundaries so that there’s a limit to how much you will do. In other words, say “no”.
    5. To accept that it’s busy right now, but make new choices so it will be not be as busy in the future.
    6. To let go of extra tasks, responsibilities and your own expectations that aren’t necessary right now. What is your choice now? How you enjoy life more and be the busy bee less? How can you reclaim your spirit and have more peace and calm in your life right now?

4. Remember to have fun and laugh: Fun and laughter will get out you off the wheel and bring a greater happiness to your life. Many people put fun low on the priority list after handling their responsibilities. What if you knew if you had fun you would be more productive, and bring a better perspective and outlook to every situation and task in your life? You could have more energy and be more resourceful in dealing with the demands of everyday life.

5. Remember what’s worked before: What have you done before when you were too busy? What were the lessons you learned from the busy times? What could you do differently this time?

Work on applying these 5 tips to help you get closer to your own work life balance!

Determining Your Core Values: Part 2 of 3

determining your core values part 2 of 3

Your values form the foundation of your life. They dictate the choices you make and determine the direction your life takes. They influence your decisions related to your relationships, career, and social activities.

What were the values you were raised with? What values are you presently living in accordance with? Are they the same or different? Do they bring you happiness? These are essential questions that you must ask if you are to find meaning, happiness, success, and connection in your life. Yet, finding the answers to these questions is a challenge and then changing your values in a way that will lead to fulfillment is an even greater challenge.

Understanding Your Values

Looking openly and honestly at the way you were raised is a step in identifying the values instilled in you growing up. What did your parents value and what did they impress upon you—achievement, wealth, education, religion, status, independence, appearance? Think back to your childhood and ask yourself several questions. What values were emphasized in the way your parents lived their lives? What values were stressed in your family? What values were reflected in the way you were rewarded or punished? For example, were you rewarded for being highly ranked in your high school class and for winning in sports, or were you rewarded for giving your best effort and for helping others?

Your next step in understanding involves looking at your present life and the values your life reflects. What do you do for a living?  Are you a corporate employee?   Business owner?  Teacher?  Salesperson?  Caterer?  Social worker?  A common question people ask others is: What do you do for a living? I have seen people get defensive in response to this question. They say, “Who cares what I do?  What I do is not who I am.”  I would suggest otherwise, at least to some degree. Assuming people have choices in the career paths they take, what they choose reflects who they are and what they value. For example, though a bit of a generalization, it is probably safe to say that someone who becomes an investment banker has different core values than someone who becomes an elementary school teacher. Someone who becomes a construction worker values different things than a nurse. Underlying values vary and create common interests, lively dinner conversation and in the end, tension in relationships – at home, at work and in friendships.

  • Where do you live? Apartment?  In the suburbs?  In the country?  What led you there?
  • What activities do you engage in most? Cultural, physical, religious, political, social? What values are reflected in those activities?
  • What do you talk about mostly? politics, religion, the economy, other people—and what does that tell you about your values?
  • What do you spend your money on? a home, cars, travel, clothing, education, art, charity? Because money is a limited resource for most people, they will use their money in ways that they value most. Over and above what people say and other indicators in their life, where they spend their money says the most about what and whom they value.

How did you learn to define success? Some families define success as winning, wealth, job status, physical appearance, or popularity—the more money and power you have and the more attractive and popular you are, the more successful you would be. Growing up with these definitions, success was largely unattainable for most people. As an adult it is imperative to review your core values.

Look at the chart below. Fill it out for yourself, your parents, your employer and others. You will see where areas of relational conflict are, and where there are differences in what you and others value.

In the process of discovery and understanding, please remember that personal coaching and counseling is often helpful. Call, text or email me to set up an appointment. I am also available for online appointments at your convenience.

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When we feel most alive and authentic, it is because we are living in alignment with our values.

  • Love (compassion, unity, helping others)
  • Success (achievement, accomplishment, power)
  • Independence (freedom, autonomy, working alone)
  • Security  (safety, loyalty, order, consistency)
  • Flexibility (change, adaptability, optimism)
  • Power (confidence, wealth, reputation)
  • Faith (trust, spirituality, conviction)
  • Compassion  (kindness, empathy, generosity)
  • Well-Being (health, energy, joy)
  • Peace (presence, contentment, calm)
  • Significance (contribution, influence, recognition, power)
  • Balance (flexibility, harmony, resilience)
  • Growth (wisdom, progress, learning, action)
  • Creativity (inspiration, imagination, originality)
  • Resilience (perseverance, hope, strength)
  • Responsibility (choice, consistency, justice)
  • Integrity (authenticity, truth, fairness)
  • Simplicity (calm, silence, peace, free time)
  • Adventure (bravery, courage, action)
  • Family (tradition, connection, relationships)
  • Helping Society
  • Team Work
  • Other

Exploring Values

Your values are the beliefs that define what is most important to you. They act as a guide for your decisions. Oftentimes, they are greatly influenced by important people in our life, and our society.

Fill in the blanks for each topic below:

My mother’s values:                                                      My father’s values:

1.                                                                                         1.

2.                                                                                        2.

3.                                                                                        3.

4.                                                                                        4.

An Important person to my values:                           Society’s values:

1.                                                                                         1.

2.                                                                                        2.

3.                                                                                        3.

4.                                                                                        4.

The values I would like to live by:                              The values I actually live by:

1.                                                                                         1.

2.                                                                                        2.

3.                                                                                        3.

4.                                                                                        4.

Determining Your Core Values – Part 1 of 3

what are your values

How Would You Define Your Values?

Before you can answer the question about what you value, you need to know, in general, what values are.

Values are the things that we believe are important; our fundamental beliefs about life. They determine our priorities and contribute to what we do and what we don’t do.

Have you ever wanted to change something about your life, but somehow felt like you were unable to? Maybe you’ve wanted to quit smoking, or start saving part of your earnings, or get out of debt, or get into a relationship, but felt stuck every time you attempted it?

Let’s look at your values. Values influence you and drive decisions that you make in your daily life. They may be values that you hold because they were your parents’ or peers’ values, or because of what you were taught or decisions you made long ago.

The path to intentional change always begins with awareness. There’s no need to berate yourself for choices you have made in the past. Just be aware of them, and learn from them.

When we feel most alive and authentic, it is because we are living in alignment with our values.

  • Love                        (passion, playfulness, connection, self-expression, compassion, unity)
  • Success                  (achievement, pride, self-worth, contribution)
  • Independence     (self expression, freedom, openness, autonomy)
  • Connection           (intimacy, belonging, honesty)
  • Security                  (trust, loyalty, confidence)
  • Flexibility           (adventure, courage, excitement, adaptability)
  • Empowerment     (confidence, self-esteem, fulfillment, self-worth)
  • Passion                   (excitement, fulfillment, aliveness)
  • Faith                        (trust, comfort, ease)
  • Compassion          (kindness, empathy, generosity)
  • Well-Being            (health, vitality, energy)
  • Peace                       (presence, contentment, balance)
  • Significance          (contribution, charity, influence, gratitude, recognition)
  • Balance                  (flexibility, wholeness, harmony)
  • Growth                   (wisdom, progress, expansion)
  • Joy                           (delight, humor, happiness)
  • Creativity           (inspiration, curiosity, power, innovation)
  • Resilience             (perseverance, hope, strength)
  • Responsibility (contribution, choice, empowerment, providing)
  • Integrity                (authenticity, balance, truth) 

In an effort to determine your personal values, ask yourself these three questions:

  1. Where do you spend your money?
  2. How do you spend your time?
  3. How do you spend your energy?

This is Step #1 of a three step blog.

In this step, identify your values. Choose your top 5. Write them down on an index card. Consider every day how they influence the decisions you make. The complete list of values follows below.

If you could choose something to hold as your highest value, what would it be?   I choose faith. At times, even though I wanted faith to be my highest value, the truth is that it took a back seat to success. Once I saw how that operated in my life, and the impact it had on me, I was in a position to choose differently. We always have a choice when we are aware and authentic.

In step #2 we will go further into the study of values, as it affects relationships.

If you could benefit from coaching or counseling, please email cheryl@heldtogether.net or contact me here.

I sincerely appreciate you forwarding this to your friends as well.

Values List











Being the best






































Financial independence



















































Risk Taking