There are a number of books available that tells you the mechanics of communicating, which are essential fundamentals. But how do you get people to want to listen to you? Maybe even more important, how do you feel comfortable enough to communicate with others?
You have to connect with them, not just communicate. Words make up only 7 percent of what you communicate. In order to learn how to communicate at a higher level, people need to know that you care for them.
In John’s book Everyone Communicates Few Connect, he explains how the five principles in the first chapter and five practices in the last chapters can change the way you think about communications.
Here is an outline of the book;
Connecting Increases Your Influence in Every Situation
If you can connect with others—one-on-one, in groups, and with an audience—your sense of community improves, your ability to create teamwork increases, and your influence skyrockets. People who connect with others have better relationships, experience less conflict, and get more things done than those who cannot connect. Leaders who have learned the art of connection are able to communicate their ideas persuasively, establishing buy-in and attracting followers.
Connecting is All About Others
Good communicators have enough humility to recognize that they are not the expert authorities on all matters. They endeavor not to impress people with knowledge, but to connect with others authentically in order to gain the opportunity to influence them. As such, they patiently seek to understand their audience before speaking.
Connecting Goes Beyond Words
Audiences respond to how a communicator makes them feel rather than to what a communicator has to say. Our actions, tone and style communicate far more than our words. Experts estimate that 90% of the impression we convey has nothing to do with what we actually say.
Connecting Always Requires Energy
Connecting with others only happens intentionally. As a communicator, you receive a response to the extent that you invest and prepare. You can’t just step up to the microphone and expect to wow the crowd. First, you must step toward the audience relationally and emotionally by personalizing the message to suit their content.
Connecting Is More Skill Than Natural Talent
People aren’t born with the ability to connect, nor does it develop by accident. Connection happens when people hone their skills and mine their experiences. Great communicators make the most of their background, personality, natural abilities, and knowledge in order to engage an audience—whether in conversation with one person or when speaking to a gathering of thousands.
Connectors Connect on Common Ground
All positive relationships are built on common interests and values. They are founded upon agreement, not disagreement. Even so, leaders neglect searching for common ground. They make assumptions about what others want, get wrapped up in their own agenda and try to control situations rather than collaborating with their team.
Connectors Do the Difficult Work of Keeping It Simple
Life’s issues can be maddeningly complex, and a leader’s job is to bring simplicity and clarity to them. Anyone can identify a problem and point out why it’s a dilemma. However, only good leaders are able to cut through the haze of complexity to arrive at a concrete solution.
Connectors Create an Experience Everyone Enjoys
How you communicate often carries more weight than what you say. Craft your communications appealingly so that you do not bore audience. Having the right message does not matter if your delivery of it puts people to sleep.
Connectors Inspire People
The energy that people put into their work depends upon the inspirational qualities of their leader. Inspiring leaders demonstrate belief in the mission, make evident their value for the team, and communicate high expectations. Leaders who combine these qualities motivate people to contribute their utmost to the organization’s goals.
Connectors Live What They Communicate
In the short run, people judge a leader on his or her communication skills. In the long run, people follow what they see instead of what they are told. They can spot a fraud, and they will not go along with a leader unless they can trust the leader’s convictions and character.
This is one of those books, when studied, can affect your life. I know, that’s a bold statement, but having facilitated a number of Mastermind Study Groups on this book, I feel I can say it. Some of the past participant said,
“This is the best class I’ve taken in my 40 year career here.”
“This really moved me to the next level in my interactions with people. It was wonderfully practical and applicable.”
Is it time for you to take your ability to communicate to a higher level?
If so Bismarck State College’s Continuing Education, Innovation and Training (CETI) is offering this Mastermind Study Group every Thursday from 1:00 – 2:30 pm for 11 weeks, it starts on February 14, 2003. Each class consists of a video of John teaching and then class facilitated discussion on how to increase your ability to communicate and connect with others. Here’s a short sample from the first lesson on Connecting Increases Your Influence in Every Situation.
Here’s the first step to learning how to connect with people, not just communicate to them.