On connecting, trust, and role
On connecting When you meet a new person, don't just aim to meet them. Aim to connect with them. It's an entirely different mindset with completely different implications. You're no longer just trying to remember a name, but to remember a story. You want to make them feel comfortable. You're not just adding them to your rolodex, you're serving them. That's how you connect with people! Too many make the mistake of networking so that they can collect a business card but never stop to connect with someone. Don't make this mistake. You'll spend all your life "networking" only to find that in the end you have nobody.
On trust What makes you trust somebody else? Immediately, you are able to recognize your values, habits, and mannerisms in others and it makes you trust them. You're observant, like most people, though sometimes you misread people—why? They are not deliberate in their signals, and neither are you. You must be intentional with every sign you post about yourself. Whether that be with your clothing, your manner of speech, or your writing. All of these things send a message, and you have to be aware of that in order to not mislead people into thinking you are more or less than you truly are. It might seem dishonest at first, but it's quite the opposite. It might seem like if you pay so much attention to what you're doing in order to appear a certain way, then that's not who you are. On the contrary, by paying attention, you are being more honest. You know who you are, and you know your own intentions. Now, you match your behavior in more situations to that, and give people a better idea of you. If that's truly you, and you're not matching your behavior to something or somebody else, then it will show. If you are who you say you are, in both your actions and your words, it will build trust, further allowing you to connect with others.
On role Sometimes your role is simply to facilitate conversation and make others comfortable. Today, you were in a discussion group of people that you absolutely do not identify with. At least not outwardly. Yet, with your ability to connect with people, you created a fit, and brought the entire group together. This is the role of a leader. This group needed leading, unlike every other group in the room. The discussion might have fallen completely flat because you so happened to be with a group of mostly shy young men. Why are you disappointed that you are not with the more lively and social groups? It is pure vanity. You would love to impress the other social creatures like yourself by being equally skilled socially. For who? For you. That's not your role, and you have to get over the fact that everything is not about you. In this group, you had a role. You were meant to be the leader in discussion and to bring all of these young men together. Embrace that. You were so distracted by looking to others and envying their position that you failed to do as good of a job as a leader as you should have. This is the definition of ignoring your God's will. That's a problem. Know your role, not your desire. Know your purpose, not your goal.