Connectors Are Able to Keep it Simple

There are many things that are simple to understand, but they might not be that simple to apply. It is likely a habit of knowing where you’re going and how to get your class to that point.

What’s Wrong With Simple?

Some have a tendency to use big words in a style that is dense and difficult to understand and do so to somehow sound intelligent; like a college professor syndrome. I don’t believe it; if the teacher is so knowledgeable and good, he can make it understandable. Educators can take the simple and make it complicated, while communicators take something complicated and make it simple. We are to bring clarity rather than complexity, and making things simple is a skill.

Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it enough.” That is an amazing challenge to teachers, and is likely the main reason they might decline to serve as teachers. Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “to be simple is to be great.” Remember that you don’t have to understand it all, but you need to have studies up on it more than your students.

Finding Stories and Illustrations That Will Connect to People:

  1. Humor – something that will make them laugh.
  2. Heart – something that will captivate their emotions.
  3. Hope – something that will inspire people.
  4. Help – something that will assist people in a tangible way.

Communicating Across Cultures:

As a missionary, I can appreciate this section, which I threw in just because it is funny. These are signs in English found around the world.

  1. Dry cleaners in Bangkok: Drop your trousers here for best results.
  2. Hotel brochure in Italy: This hotel is renown for its peace and solitude. In fact, people from all over the world flock here to enjoy its solitude.
  3. Hotel in Tokyo: Is forbidden to steal hotel towels please. If you are not person to do such a thing is please not to read notis.
  4. Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable.
  5. Hotel in Athens: Visitors are expected to complain at the office between the hours of 9 and 11 am. Daily.
  6. Laundry in Rome: Ladies, leave your clothes here and spend the afternoon having a good time.
  7. Hong Kong tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs.
  8. Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.
  9. Budapest zoo: Please do not feed the animals. If you have any suitable food, give it to the guard on duty.
  10. Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed all the water served here.

The point is that we must say what we need to say; keep it simple, say it slowly and have a smile.

The Art of Simplicity:

  1. Talk to People, not Above Them: Daddy and son, and the boy asked why the apple is turning brown. the Dad says, “Because you ate the skin off, the meat of the apple came in contact with the air, which caused it to oxidize, thus changing its molecular structure and turning it into a different color.” After a while, the boy asked, “Dad, are you talking to me?” Sometimes we want to impress others more than we want to impact them.
  2. Get to the Point: A good test, if it takes you a while to get to the point, you’re in trouble. Get to the point before your listeners begin asking, “What is the point?” Euripides said, “A bad beginning makes a bad ending.” The point is that bottom-line thinkers want to know the bottom line. Ask yourself two questions:
    1. What do I want them to know?
    2. What do I want them to do?
  3. Say it Over and Over and Over and Over Again: The fundamental law of learning is repetition. People need to hear something sixteen times before they begin to believe it. When you say it one time, it’s heard; say it twice it is recognized; say it a third time it is learned. When it comes to vision, Bill Hybels said, “Vision leaks.” If people don’t buy in to your vision, they will eventually lose passion and enthusiasm for it. Dale Carnegie teaches, “Tell them what you are going to say, Say it. Then tell them what you’ve said.” Three essential words to connect with others, “brevity, levity and repetition, let me say that again…”
  4. Say it Clearly: The Queen Mary was named so by accident.  It was originally to be named Victoria. The king was told the vessel would be named after the greatest of all English Queens.” He said, My wife will be so pleased.” Not wanting to correct the king’s misunderstanding, they renamed it after his wife, Queen Mary. Cool Hand Luke has a classic line, “What we have here, is failure to communicate.” David Blair said to have an understanding to there won’t be a misunderstanding. In the end, people are not persuaded by what you say, but what they understand.
  5. Say Less: John Maxwell once said to an anxious audience that “If I don’t deliver in 30 minutes or less, you don’t have to pay me.” It is important to begin and end on time; better yet, end a little early. They will remember that you got to the point and finished, rather than circling the room for a landing and going over time. While it is good to keep is simple, no one gets extra points for being obscure or unprepared.

Connecting Practice: Connectors do the difficult work of keeping it simple.
Key Concept: The larger the group, the simpler the communication has to be.

Practical Steps:

  1. If you are not clear in your communication, you will probably be able to see it in their facial expression.
  2. Never simply dump information on people and expect for them to sort it out.
    1. Ask for feedback.
    2. Ask what they have heard and have learned.
    3. Ask how they might pass this information on to others.
  3. Focus on the bare essentials of what you want to communicate, not all the points of the lesson; then emphasize those points and make them memorable.
  4. In teaching truth to your students, build confidence by practicing on a few friends.
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