I have been reading John Maxwell’s exceptional book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. It’s one of the most influential leadership books I have read.
The book is not only practical, it extremely encouraging. It’s for people who want to make a difference in life, build meaningful relationships with others and connect through communications. I really enjoyed the simplicity of this book where John shares easy ways to connect with others.
Here’s what what John says:
When you are on the phone, it’s not uncommon to get disconnected. It’s a frustrating experience that wastes your time, limites your productivity, and disrupts the flow of information. When it comes to communication, connection is everything. What’s true on the phone is also true for people.
1. Connecting Increases Your Influence in Every Situation
- Connecting: The ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.
- To be successful, you need to learn how to really communicate with others.
- According to the Harvard Business Review, “The number one criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals is an ability to communicate effectively.” That mean connecting!
2. Connecting Is All About Others
- The number one hindrance to connecting with others is seeing ourselves as the center of conversations. Listen more than you talk.
- “If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.” – Zig Ziglar
- Why do people miss this point? Immaturity, ego, failure to value others and insecurity.
3. Connecting Goes Beyond Words
- Face-to-face communication has three components: words, tone of voice and body language.
- What we say accounts for 7% of what is believed.
- The way we say it accounts for 38%.
- What others see accounts for 55%.
- Fail to include any one of the three and there will be a disconnection from people and a breakdown of communication.
4. Connecting Always Requires Energy
- Example: Best presenters have tons of energy.
- Five Characteristics of Energy: Initiative, clarity, patience, selflessness and stamina.
5. Connecting is More Skill than Natural Talent
- First is relationships – who you know. Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz both developed an audience after appearing on Oprah and getting her endorsement.
- Second is insight – what you know. People will listen to someone who can communicate something of value.
- Third is success – what you have done. People want to be successful and will seek out people who can help them become successful.
- Fourth is availability – what you can do. People who perform at a high level in their profession often have instant credibility.
My biggest take-away for the church is the idea – Connecting Is All About Others. I find ministry leaders asking the following questions: Was it good teaching? How am I doing? How did you like the service? I believe in evaluation. Evaluating a sermon or event in itself is acceptable. The key is not going overboard. Remember it is about others.