In this article I’m going to share with you how to become a well connected Yogi. In Yoga we often talk about connections, connecting the body with the breath as we work with our asanas, connecting the mind and the body as we still our thoughts and emotions. However this connection that I’m talking about is a little different, this connection is about making strong and long lasting Yoga-related connections especially when it comes to business.
I came across a great article by Chris Fralic on the First Round Review website. He talks about becoming insanely connected and gives seven rules for making memorable connections. I’ve bulleted these points for you and given them a Yoga-twist. A worthwhile read for yoga studio owners, new yoga teachers looking for, as well as those looking to build relationships, with future potential investors, (and in actual fact for any meaningful relationships we want). Most of these are common sense, but they really are worthwhile mentioning again.
1: Show genuine appreciation
- That they are liked by you
- That you are wanting to spend time with them
- That you are interested in them and what they have to say/their skills
- Like they’ve imparted something positive and worthwhile in the interaction with you.
Remember that an interaction doesn’t need to be long, it could be a set up meeting over lunch, bumping into them at the shops, via email, telephonically. So be prepared.
2: Listen with intent
This is a big one and something most Yogis already do quite naturally, but it doesn’t harm to mention it again. Become a good listener, really pay attention fully to what is being said, (and not said). How present are you when you are interacting with the person? Are you looking around at other people while meeting in a restaurant, are you trying to reply to an email while on a call, are you really present in body, mind and heart? How do you know if you’re a good listener? Well, does the other person feel heard and want to continue with the conversation? Are you able to ask good follow up questions?
3: Humility markers
Fralic talks about using humility markers when you interact with a person especially if there’s a power dynamic at play where one person is asking for your advice/help. To ensure you don’t come across as that ‘all knowing person’ Fralic suggests you start a conversation or an interaction with something like “I’m wrong all the time and I very well may be here as well…”. This humility marker is really important especially when studio owners are interviewing or interacting with new potential teachers. Remember that a rejection or a no stands out more amongst peoples interactions than yes’s so if you need to reject someone’s request make sure you come from a humble space.
4: Offer unvarnished honesty
Four goes hand in hand with numbers 3. We often don’t say how we really feel because we don’t want to hurt someone else’s feelings, we don’t want to be disliked or we don’t want to have to deal with conflicts that may then arise. Remember that it is always best to be honest in a way that is useful to the other person.
5: Blue sky brainstorming
I really, really like this one because maybe you can’t provide what that person in your interaction is looking for but you can always help them address their needs/desires more fully by brainstorming with them. A great way of brainstorming is having the ability to ask them pertinent and leading questions so that they come to a new realisation or solution all by themselves. This is super empowering and motivating for a person. Much more powerful than having the “experienced” person talking down or sharing their ideas/wisdom or knowledge. So can you ask someone questions that will get them to where they want to be next?
6: End your meeting on a positive note
Fralic says “end every meeting or conversation with a feeling and optimism you would like to have at the start of your next conversation with the person.” We are bound to bump into the person again at some stage in our lives, expected or unexpected. Who know how things have moved along, how we’ve grown, how we’ve progressed on our Yoga journey in life? By ending a conversation on a positive note you leave the means of communication open. And who knows when that next conversation might come in handy? The need of an urgent stand in teacher… The need to hire studio space for a workshop – it works both ways…
7: Don’t fake it till you make it
This I found interesting because often you’ll hear the phrase “fake it till you make it”. In business interactions he says no don’t do that. In other words, be prepared and do your research. If you’re going for an interview, find out everything you can about the studio, the style of yoga taught, the studio teachers and where you could add value and if you are interviewing, find out as much as you can about the person beforehand. Don’t sit in a meeting trying to “wing-it”. It will just waste time for both parties.
And a little advice for those who are looking to apply for teaching posts at studios. By attending yoga classes at a select number of studios for a few months will bring far more value to you than sending our 50 emails/CV’s to studios in your area. People remember personal interactions and how they feel around you more than an email. So rather get yourself out there, be sincere, start connecting and start building those relationships, you never know where they will get you in time. Remember relationships are just like the practice of Yoga, you need to be dedicated, you need to be unattached and you need to be open so that the consciousness can flow into you and guide you on your path forward.
I love these 7 markers on how to become a well connected Yogi. I hope they have been helpful to you, to reaffirm what you already know and to remind you why it’s important to become that well connected Yogi in daily life and in business.
From your travelling Yogini friend, much love,