Connecting Always Requires Energy

Connecting with others always requires energy; just think of how many low-energy relationship you have. Even if they come off as low energy, they usually possess a reserve of energy that is not evident on the surface.

They Get Out of it What You Put into it: It is important to move toward people emotionally and relationally. The more you put into your lesson, the more they will get out of it. It is very important to not wait until Saturday to compose your lesson. Begin early in the week, reading the passage and contemplating the key points of the lesson. Pray about how the information you learn will translate into a life applicable lesson for your students. When you know your material, you will have greater confidence when you walk into the room, and you will have a good idea about the time it will take to share and discuss the lesson.

Remember Key Events in the Lives of your Students: It is good to have personal information about birthdays, anniversaries, family names, even school activities and schedules. Try to create new memories by spending time together and celebrating special events.

Work at Remembering Names: It seems so simple but it is imperative if your goal is knowing your students. It is also a great way to learn names, introducing them to other people. The more people they meet the more chances they have to connect with others.

You’ve Got to Bring it: John Maxwell writes about four unpardonable sins of a communicator, and it takes energy to do each of these.

  1. Being unprepared.
  2. Being uncommitted.
  3. Being uninteresting.
  4. Being uncomfortable.

Ten Tips to Becoming a Magnificent Mingler (communication coach Susan RoAne):

  1. Possess the ability to make others feel comfortable.
  2. Appear to be confident and at ease.
  3. Have the ability to laugh at themselves (not at others).
  4. Show interest in others; maintaining eye contact, self-disclose, ask questions and actively listen.
  5. Extend themselves to others; they lean into the greeting with a firm handshake and a smile.
  6. Convey a sense of energy and enthusiasm.
  7. Are well rounded, well informed and well mannered.
  8. Prepare stories of actual occurrences that are interesting, humorous and appropriate.
  9. Introduce people to each other with an infectious enthusiasm that motivates conversation between others.
  10. Convey respect and genuinely like people, which is the core of communicating.

Five Proactive Ways to Use Energy for Connecting: One does not need to be a high energy person or an extrovert to master this energy. I am officially an introvert, but I force myself to behave like an extrovert at times. The issue is how one recharges. Introverts recharge in solitude and peacefulness while extroverts draw energy from being around people.

1. Connecting Requires Initiative: It is important to go first. Wal-mart has a wonderful strategy when it comes to connecting – “Every time a person comes within ten feet of me, I will smile, look at him in the eye and greet him.” Initiative is to any relationship what a lighted match is to a candle. Those that do not connect in our classes are likely not taking a first step toward others, so it is our responsibility to go first. Maxwell says that if you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing anything for anybody. Try to find ways to help others. Grateful people are generally much easier to connect with. Initiating a conversation with someone often feels awkward. Offering to help someone risks rejection. Giving to someone can lead to misunderstanding. Those who connect go ahead and do what the rest of us never quite get around to.

2. Connecting Requires Clarity: It is imperative that we prepare.

We prepare personally by knowing ourselves. We all have weaknesses and shortcomings, but we cannot give what we do not have, we cannot teach what we do not know, we cannot share what we do not feel. If someone is prepared for the little challenges of life, we should be ready for the bigger challenges.

We prepare for our people by knowing our class. Connecting begins with people. The more you know about your people the better you will be at connecting with them.

  1. Who are they?
  2. What do they care about?
  3. Where do they come from?
  4. Why did they decide to attend the class?
  5. Why are they in the room today?
  6. What do I have that I can offer them?
  7. How do they want to feel when the class is finished?

We prepare professionally by knowing our stuff. Situations where we teach, speak or lead, we must be prepared professionally. We must know what we are talking about. As teachers, we must prepare days in advance for the lesson to come across with power.

3. Connecting Requires Patience: It is important to slow down. We live in an impatient culture and moving at the pace of others can be very exhausting. When we slow down we can move at someone else’s pace. Good connectors don’t always run the fastest, but they are able to take others with them. They are able to set aside their own agenda to include others.

4. Connecting Requires Selflessness: In life there are people who take and those who give. One’s spirit is renewed by a teacher with a giving spirit. Even if you have said something before, people receive it well when you are a giver, but they will tire quickly if you are a taker. The giver is the person who teaches out of love, grace, gratitude, compassion, and passion.

5. Connecting Requires Stamina: It is essential to recharge. Teaching can be taxing physically, mentally and emotionally. It is important to recognize and avoid the leaks that drain us. We also must be intentional about our personal renewal.

Connecting Principle: Connecting always requires energy.
Key Concept: The larger the larger the group, the more energy it takes to connect.

Practical Steps:

  1. Before class, go to each person and introduce yourself or greet the members.
  2. Ask questions and find out information about your class members.
  3. If people are not opening up in the discussion, you might talk about their uniqueness and how it relates to the topic.
  4. Remember that preparation brings energy, and passion, which comes from conviction, brings energy.
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