As part of Legacy Business Culture’s Connecting With Respect Workshop, participants are taught the 12 Rules of Respect. These rules can be used to help employers create and maintain a positive environment within the work place. One of the rules says to look for opportunities to connect with and support others.

Paul Meshanko, President & CEO of Legacy Business Cultures stated that “No matter the differences, always back track and find something that you have in common.”

In the business world as well as in your personal life, making connections with other individuals is a key component to build a strong relationship, as well as opening new doors for opportunity. Trust me, I know that this task is not as easy as one can make it sound, but it can be done.

In the book The Respect Effect, Paul cited Robert Burton, M.D., who had composed a journal entitled On Being Certain-Believing You Are Right Even When You’re Not. In this study, Burton pointed to how our brains are wired to pick up on any differences that one may decipher about another.  In depth it is believed that our brains create a blueprint of how we see the world, those around us, and more importantly ourselves. This is what Burton calls “The Hidden Layer.”

These differences could include color of skin, body structure, voice pitch, a person’s attire, etc. With that being said, it is our job to exercise our brain to adapt to change, instead of being complacent to our own patterns of thinking. In order to effectively connect as well as support another person, we are required to step outside our comfort zone and communicate.

Laughter is a way that can help get the ball moving in order to connect with others.

On March 16, 2015 a study done by Alan Gray showed that people are willing to open up to others after sharing a good laugh. This study was done after Gray had gathered a total of 112 students from Oxford University in England. After Gray grouped the students into fours, he began to show each group a 10-minutes video. These videos varied from stand-up comedy, straightforward golf instruction video, and a show on BBC called Planet Earth. After the video the students were then asked to write a note to another person to help them get to know each other. The study showed that the students who shared a good laugh with each other were able to share more intimate information than the groups who didn’t watch the comedy routine.

Gray propose that “the physiology behind a good laugh can trigger the release of the happy hormone endorphin.”

In conclusion, laughter can encourage people to share more intimate disclosures with people that they haven’t met before.

So whether it is in the office with a new client or on a date with a potential mate, try sharing a laugh. This in terms will help you connect with the other person as well as help he/she feel more relaxed around you. Take advantage of the opportunity to step outside your comfort zone and partake in laughter. This has proven to make things easier to connect and support others.