In February, King’s Grant is taking a bold step toward developing leaders and securing potential leaders. For three consecutive Wednesday evenings at 6:00, beginning February 2, I will have the opportunity to guide the student and adult leadership in the art and science of connecting with other people. As a text, I will use John Maxwell’s book called, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People do Differently.
Connecting Can Make You or Break You: People cannot succeed in life without communicating effectively. It is not just about working harder. It’s not enough to just do a great job, to be successful you need to learn how to really communicate with others.
Connecting is the Key: Good communication and leadership is all about connecting. If you connect with others, you will have stronger relationships, improved community, increased teamwork, increased influence and your effectiveness will grow.
Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.
Connecting is Critical for Leaders: The best leaders are always the best connectors. The Harvard Business Review stated that the number one criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals is the ability to communicate effectively.
Presidential historian Robert Dallek says there are five qualities that enable them to achieve things that others don’t: vision, pragmatism, consensus building, charisma and trustworthiness. Four of these are related to the ability to communicate on multiple levels.
- Vision is the ability to describe what they are doing.
- Consensus is the ability to persuade others to come along with them.
- Charisma is the ability to connect on a personal level.
- Trust is the ability to demonstrate credibility, doing what they say they will do.
The Courage to Change: Reinhold Nieburh is famous for making popular the Serenity Prayer; “God grant me the serenity to accept the things we cannot change, the courage to change the things we can, and the wisdom to know the difference.”
- There are things that we can change, but often don’t know how to change.
- Often our coping skills are greater than our connecting skills.
- We need to make a difference, not just know how to make a difference.
- We need courage to change things rather than simply accept the status quo.
It Starts with Your Attitude: The ability to connect with others begins with understanding the value of people.
- Care about people as well as profits.
- View subordinates optimistically.
- Seek advice from those under them.
- Listen well to others.
- Concentrate on production.
- Focus more on their own status.
- Are reluctant to seek advice from those under them.
- Listen only to superiors.
- Are preoccupied with their own security.
- Show a basic distrust of subordinates.
- Don’t seek advice.
- Avoid communication and rely on policy manuals.
To Be Effective, We Must Connect: We can always learn to get better at what we do, and to do this we must connect better.
Principles of Connecting:
- Focus on others.
- Expand your connecting vocabulary beyond just words.
- Develop your energy for connecting.
- Gain insight on how great communicators connected.
Practical Skills of Connection:
- Finding common ground.
- Making your communication simple.
- Capturing the interest of people.
- Inspiring people.
- Being authentic.
Connecting Principle – Connecting increases your influence in every situation.
Key Concept – The smaller the group, the more important it is to connect.
- Talk more about other people and less about yourself.
- Look for ways to be of service to others.
- Look for ways to compliment others.
- Look for ways to add value to others.
- Don’t take credit when the group succeeds; don’t cast blame when it doesn’t.
- Find ways to celebrate together.
Let others know that your time with them is your highest priority that day.