Make Lasting Connections

By: Jacqui Denker | Adapted for Web by: Dave Hanson Posted: 6:16 PM, Aug 26, 2022 Updated: 6:44 PM, Aug 26, 2022

If you stop and do a headcount, including people from old jobs and social media, the number of people you stay in touch with is probably way more than you’d think.  And while some of these connections are fruitful, some could actually be bogging you down and holding you back!  We talked to Rick Ornelas, the founder of I-Spark Change, about how to make sure you have the right connections in your life, and they’re contributing to your success.  

Connections you should limit

We all know those people who — though we may be fond of them — are a drain on our time.   You only have 5 minutes and they take 15… or, you want to get off the phone but they won’t let you. That’s a time-suck that can negatively impact your chances of success.   So place limits.   If someone at work is eating up your time, tell them you’re up against a deadline and suggest that if they email you their questions, you can respond more quickly.   You’re not cutting them off, you’re protecting your productivity.   

Connections you should expand

Some people just bring out the best in you. They inspire you to grow. They challenge you when you need it.  So to get the most out of these relationships…first seek to add value to their lives.   Support them at an event or give them positive feedback, without the expectation of anything in return.  Then say something like how much you appreciated their comments in that last meeting… and that you’d love to learn more.   Take them out for coffee or lunch and see where it goes. 

Connections you should disconnect 

Disconnections are the negative influences in your life that you need to completely eliminate.  

These are the people who don’t support you, who disrupt your trajectory and poison you with negative energy.  When you see this happening…. time to say goodbye.  Think of it as pulling weeds in the garden of life.  Tell them you’re going in a different direction and ask them for their support — if they can’t do that, well, no big loss.  

Succeeding in life by learning about our connections and disconnections.