The Power of a Commonality – CU Denver Sets an Example

Colorado U Denver 2

Have you ever started a conversation with someone new, and at first it didn’t flow? You had to think of questions to ask, and they didn’t come easily. But then…

You find out you have something in common… like you both love the Denver Broncos or you both love U2 or you both love to snowboard, and all of the sudden the conversation is easy. It’s flows at a quicker pace, there’s more excitement in it, and you enjoy talking with this person who feels or thinks similar to you.

That’s an experience I think we’ve all had. And it’s a great example of how great a connection can be when you’ve found something you have in common.

Want to make more connections?
You should since studies show your connections have an impact on both your success and your happiness.

3 Simple Things You Can Do to Make More Connections

  1. Start the conversation. I know it can feel awkward at first, but just start it. The more you do it, the easier it gets. A simple, “Hi. How are you today?” will often do the trick.
  2. Treat everyone like a rock star. Everyone has value. Don’t prejudge based on appearance or anything you’ve heard about that person before. Decide for yourself how much you like them AFTER you’ve given them a chance and treated them with respect.
  3. Find the commonality. We all have way more in common than we have different. It’s not hard to find something you have in common. Once you do, your conversation gets even easier and your connection gets deeper.

At University of Colorado at Denver recently, I shared a message at their new student convocation about living a #FrontRowLife. The crowd was a mix of ages, vocations, races, religions and backgrounds. There were parents and other family members, faculty (a lot of faculty members joined voluntarily in fact), and students in the crowd.

The faculty were sitting among the students, not separate. They spoke of their goal to create a strong culture based on the diversity of their community which would serve the students as they pursue their dreams. They joined in the exercises I assigned to the audience. They displayed energy and enthusiasm for the beginning of the school year.

Even though people from all walks of life were in the room, one of the commonalities among them (one of many actually) was they were there to help the students succeed. The same way a common hobby or love of a sporting team can bring people together, so can a common goal or vision.

How many conversations will you start today?
Whom will you find something in common with today?

To download a one-page PDF of the key points to living a #FrontRowLife, click here.


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