I have talked about the importance of connecting before, and remember that connecting involves communicating, and communicating is something that we all can use a little improvement in.
John Maxwell provides us with five practical skills to improve our ability to connect with others:
- Finding Common Ground
- Making Your Communication Simple
- Capturing People’s Interest
- Inspiring Them
- Being Authentic
Let’s take a closer look at these five practical skills.
Finding Common Ground- Co-Founder of Master Networks, Chas Wilson insists that the first thing that we all do when working on building an opportunity is to build on common interest. We must first find a reason for us to have a conversation, and what better way to do that but to start with something both parties enjoy or are knowledgeable about. It can be something as complex as a business strategy or as simplistic as the weather. Either way it is common ground, and it is that foundation that our relationship can be built upon.
Making Your Communication Simple – It has been said that if you can not say or explain something simply, you do not know the subject matter well enough yourself. Politicians seem to have cornered the market on saying thing in such a complicated way that you can’t pin anything to them directly. Communication in that style is not only frustrating, but very ineffective. If you truly want to get across and idea or a thought, the best way to paint the picture clearly so that all can see it is to say it simply. Or as the acronym goes, KISS Keep it Simple Stupid (please don’t be offended by that.)
Capturing People’s Interest – What better way to get someone interested in what you have to say than to simply tell a story. We all have a story and everyone loves to hear a good story. How can you use a story to convey the information or the ideas that you have than to tell a relevant story. We can all draw a story out of an experience that we have encountered, and because it is our story and our experience, we can and are allowed to take a creative license to it and embellish it to our advantage. The point is, use something as simplistic as a good story and use it to your advantage to draw a person’s interest to hearing what you have to say.
Inspire Them – The best inspiration is a living testament to the idea that you want others to follow. You can’t be something on the outside that you truly are not on the inside, and your facade of a false front will quickly erode and leave you standing vulnerable and with a total and many times an irreparable credibility. You are truly unique and that there never has been, never will be, or currently is another individual as unique as you. Own that person who is you. I challenge you to write down your top 10 strengths and own them. Be able to describe them to others and be willing and able to demonstrate them at all times regardless who is watching you.
Being Authentic – Remember, you are unique and that being unique gives you permission to be the best you that you can be. Don’t compare yourself to others, you don’t know what struggles that person is dealing with or the circumstances that have been awarded them that will never be awarded to you. Joel Osteen has said that someone else’s gift or talent would be a hindrance to you. Be real, be true, be yourself. The only person that you ever need to be better than is the person you were yesterday. God doesn’t make second rate goods, he has given us all the talents and gifts that we need to be truly successful in life.
By taking these five principles and putting them into practice, you will be able to better connect with people and every good leader needs to have good connections.
“Keep Those Fingers Dirty!”