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Hello & Goodbye

Connect because you can.


The way we choose to say hello and goodbye can do so much in creating a feeling of connection and belonging.  It may feel like a trivial part of your day, but when done consciously, the way we decide to come together and part ways plays a significant role in how we make others feel.  Ancient tribes, whether they were Greek, Indigenous, African, Norwegian, etc. understood the importance of acknowledging others in a way that showed respect, which is why it was always done using specific words, body language and hand gestures.  


Sadly today, modern hellos and goodbyes have become quick, flippant and almost nonexistent.  To ensure this doesn’t happen to you, simply follow the tips below and bring those tribal connections back into your life.  And by the way, people who do are often seen as being pretty special in the lives of others.

How does it work?

Step #1 - Eye Contact


You might think you are looking someone in the eyes when saying hello and goodbye, but you would be surprised to learn how often people miss doing it.  If you’re conscious about it, that won’t happen.  Whether it’s a virtual call, or seeing someone in person, we want you to intentionally try doing two things.  


The first is to hold eye contact with the person, while saying hello or goodbye, for one full second.  Yes, we know that might feel like a weird target to hit, but for most people the eye contact they hold is often shorter than that.  To put this into greater context, imagine holding eye contact with another person for the time it takes to say, “one-one thousand” in your mind to get a sense of what a full second looks like.  This very simple act can dramatically increase the connections you experience with the people you are interacting with on a daily basis.


The second thing we want you to always aim for while holding eye contact is to smile.  Whether it’s at the beginning of a Zoom call, while bumping into a colleague in the parking lot or saying goodbye at the end of a lunch meeting with a client, smiling plays a big role in deepening our connection with others.  Overall, it lifts spirits, establishes trust and strengthens bonds with those who find themselves on the receiving end of our smiles.  


Surprisingly, smiling comes more naturally to some then it does to others.  Again, it’s about being intentional, so the next time you are saying hello or goodbye to someone remember to be conscious about smiling, while holding eye contact. 


Step #2 - Say Their Name

Say my name, say my name!”  (Beyonce Knowles)


Have you ever noticed what happens when you, or someone else at the table refers to the person serving you in the restaurant by their name?  It’s right there on their name tag, and the second a person uses it to refer to that individual personally, you can almost feel the shift in energy.  Server’s that are called by their name often smile more, show greater attention to detail and are generally friendlier towards those who use it.  You can make people feel the same way by saying the name of your colleague, client, friend or neighbour when saying hello or goodbye.  Again, it’s easy to do as long as you are intentional about it.


Step #3 - A Touching Hello or Goodbye

During the Tribe Certified Program, the many benefits of appropriate physical touch were discussed in detail.  The moments we say hello or goodbye to others provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.  As you may remember from the course, it’s always your job to “read the room” on what that level of touch looks like, but we human beings have been doing it for centuries.  The various options mentioned during the program that best apply here include the touch of the shoulder, the fist bump, the high five and the hug.  For good measure, you can obviously throw in the traditional handshake too.  


Whichever one you choose, a little human touch goes a long way.  So, at the beginning of your next meeting, consider giving your colleagues a fist bump or high five as a way of saying hello to those you are greeting.  When you bump into someone from another department in line at the cafeteria, why not shake their hand?  When saying goodbye to the neighbour you were talking to at the end of the driveway, give them a quick tap on the shoulder.  These small gestures make people feel more connected, and send a message that says they are part of your tribe.

Step #4 - Pull Them Closer With a Question

This tip is about making people feel more connected to you specifically during the time you are saying hello to them.  When saying hello to someone, we can leave it there and move on, or we can make a greater effort to go a little further and ask them a question.  Now, the question people most often ask in these situations is, “How are you doing?” This is obviously a pleasant question, and one that is nice to ask.  However, after the person answers that question, do you consider asking one more that’s perhaps a little more meaningful to that person, as a way of showing them that you’re not just exchanging pleasantries?


What if you made the conscious effort to ask questions that you know are specific to them to show that person that you are thinking about them?  Questions like, “What’s taking up most of your time at work these days?”, “What did you get up to this weekend?”, “What are your kids focussed on these days?”  


On another level, is there something more specific about their life that you can ask about that would make them see that you care?  Perhaps after asking how they are doing, is there room to ask questions such as, “I know your mom had that surgery, how is she recovering?”, “How was that conference you attended last weekend?  Did you get a chance to do anything fun?”, “You guys have a big presentation coming up, how’s the planning going for that?”


When we ask people personal questions about themselves after saying hello, they no longer feel like a number or just another face in the crowd.  It shows that you care about them as a person, as opposed to them assuming you are only saying hello and goodbye because it’s the social norm to follow.

Wrapping up

The four tips offered above will make a world of a difference in the way others feel when you say hello and goodbye, while significantly increasing your chances of establishing greater connection in your own life.  Remember, sometimes the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference, especially when you approach them consciously.

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