Communication Tools: The Power of Micro-Connects

by Betty Lochner on May 10, 2016

I can live one or two months
employee engagement on one good compliment
– Mark Twain
One of the deepest human needs is to feel appreciated.  It’s what makes us feel valued. It’s what makes us happy and it’s what motivates us.
 We live in a culture that is appreciation deprived.  Studies show that up to 70% of workers feel they are not appreciated. But, the good news is that when you give appreciation to someone on a regular and informal basis, you will see a 40% increase in their performance. Wow!
Why don’t we do more of that? Mostly it’s because we don’t realize how great of an impact it makes and how important it is to make a concerted effort to regularly practice giving appreciation.
Small Changes Make Big Differences
One of the best ways to make simple change in this area is to focus on your communication “micro-connects.” Micro-connects are small things you can do every time you interact with someone that shows you care and appreciate them.
One of the best ways to improve our micro-connections with someone is to be a better listener. You can do that by consistently paying full attention, pausing (don’t interrupt), asking clarifying questions to make sure you understand, and using good eye contact.
Here are some other great ways to add micro-connects to your daily interactions:
  • Change your body position to get on equal level with who you are talking to (stand if they are standing, sit if they are sitting)
  • Smile (the corners of your eyes should crinkle if you’re doing it right!)
  • Notice small things and mention them (i.e. a new picture in someone’s office)
  • Remember birthdays (especially those who don’t expect you to remember)
  • Remember names and use them (start with the one wearing a name tag at the grocery store)
  • Go out of your way to do something nice for someone
  • Catch people doing something good and tell them (and their boss!)
  • Write a short note of appreciation or thanks
  • Create fun: tell a joke, share a funny story – engage in a fun topic

Get out of your comfort zone and make better micro-connections with everyone you come in contact with. Exercise your appreciation muscle often through these simple micro-connects and they will soon become habits. You will immediately see changes in your relationships.  You’ll notice right away the differences: better engagement, responses and results!

Betty hikingBetty Lochner is the Owner of Cornerstone Coaching & Training. She specializes in personal and organizational transformation and is the author of  Dancing with Strangers: Communication skills for transforming your life at work and at home, 52 Communication Tips, and Gladie’s Gift.  All are available on To find out more about Cornerstone’s services and offerings visit our website:
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