How (Socially) Wealthy are You? Create it with Conversational Power
I bet you want to be wealthy. I know I do.
Some might read that as greedy or selfish. That makes me curious…what is your definition of “wealthy”? And how much time do you spend evaluating other types of wealth beyond financial?
What does Wealth Mean, Really?
First, we tend to think of wealth as it applies to being financially wealthy. But there are other types. As far as finances go, doesn’t it make logical sense that if your needs are met, then you can more effectively help others? If you are financially abundant, then you…
- Have the stability to care for your basic human needs,
- Can help family and friends with their needs,
- Can do pro-bono work,
- Can volunteer your time,
- And can become a more significant donor to philanthropic causes.
The American Heritage Dictionary defines “wealth” as: a great quantity of valuable material possessions or resources and “wealthy” as prosperous, abundant.
The meaning of words, matter. The meaning we assign to words can either empower or disempower us. It can create understanding or misunderstanding with others. How we define words can help move us forward or hold us back. Are you defining “wealthy” in a way that moves you forward?
I can understand why there might be a negative connotation to the word “wealthy” – after all, greed and corruption go hand-in-hand and we have heard many stories about that. Plus, many people are taught not to seek joy from material possessions.
But limiting “wealthy” to a financial definition is also limiting to life. And what happens if we define wealth with a negative mindset? Will we become wealthy in any sense of the word?
Expanding the Definition of Wealth:
They say business is all about relationships. But how are relationships created and maintained? It’s in the communication and connection we create with others.
In one of my favorite Bob Marley interviews, a reporter asks Bob about his success. The reporter asks, “Are you a rich man?” Bob replies, “Possessions make you rich? I don't have that type of richness. My richness is life, forever."
Beyond finances there are other types of wealth to recognize. For instance:
- Intellectual wealth/capital
- Time wealth
- Physical wealth
- Social wealth
Since my focus is on how successful we are in communication, I’ll focus on the social. Social wealth is the value of the resources you have to meet your social and/or emotional needs. (Yes, you have emotional needs. I know, it sounds vulnerable, but you’re human so own it.)
Social connection is the currency of social wealth. So the question becomes, to what quantity and quality are you connecting?
The level at which you connect is what I call Conversational Power. And it’s what I help clients create and build on in my 90-day program called UpLevel Your Influence.
How do you know you have social wealth? For one, it’s when you meet someone who choses you over a competitor.
Why do they choose you?
- They understand you.
- They find you enjoyable.
- They know you’ll work well with them.
- They believe you are strong, talented and reliable.
- They respect you.
- In short, you’ve influenced them in a positive way.
With the isolation that people have endured for the last year or more, all around the globe, it seems that once we move beyond the financial necessities, social wealth is the next most pressing wealth to seek.
There’s a reason that sayings like these exist…
- “Your network is your net worth.”
- “It’s not what you know, but who you know.”
So, how do you boost your social wealth? You boost your Conversational Power.
Tips for Boosting Conversational Power:
Creating more power in how you converse may sound simple. But one thing I’ve learned as a coach is that simple doesn’t mean easy. Here are a few tips for connecting in a powerful way…
- Plan for focus – it sounds easy but with the amount of distractions we receive in any given day, we have to purposefully plan to focus on the person we are talking to. Make them the #1 priority in that moment. 15 minutes of clearly zoned-in focus to really listen to them will matter more than 30-minutes of half-hearted hearing while every buzzer and email alert notifies you during the conversation.
- Focus on the positive – There’s a time for disagreement, sure. But an initial meeting is where you connect and build rapport. If you want to add this person to your network, it’s best to leave controversial topics aside. Otherwise, you may end up off their list before even being considered.
- Respect: give it to get it – Business owners tell me they want to be respected by their team. My first question is, do you offer respect? You must give it, to get it.
- Talk like tennis – What I mean is aim for 50-50 talking to listening. Allow for the natural ebb and flow of conversation and stories but be aware if you are dominating the talking time. Aim for balance.
- Ask purposeful questions – this requires you to really think about what you want the outcome of this conversation to be. What value can you provide them? What do you think they may know or have access to that would help you? Think about their experience and ask meaningful questions that you are genuinely interested in.
These few pointers sound simple, but today MOST people don’t do them. Many fall back on excuses of being “too busy” or important to slow down for true connection. So when you do, you become a powerful communicator. You build and create Conversational Power and you stand out.
This is why I help business owners, entrepreneurs, solo-preneurs and leaders of all kinds elevate their brand presence and develop 360-degrees of communication confidence in the 90-day program called UpLevel Your Influence. If you’re curious, click here and apply. We’ll set up a time to discuss what it all entails and see if it can help you meet your brand and busines goals.