Archive for August, 2015

August 28, 2015

Stop Communicating and Start Connecting!


Going Beyond Communication To Connection

(Click above link for more info on Everyone Communicates, Few Connect Seminar)

We all communicate but sometimes we have trouble saying what we mean or in a way that makes a deep impact with our audience. Here are some tips that can help you get better connected.


The Chinese Character for “Listen!”

Openness: Use “I feel…” statements more often.  Instead of describing the other person in the discussion (“I feel that you’re an idiot!”), try describing yourself with “I feel frustrated with what I’m hearing or seeing in your behavior.”  This is not an opportunity to blame, shame, or attack. It’s an opportunity to explain what you perceive and how you feel about it without making the other person responsible for your feelings.

Listen: Hear feelings first, then thoughts, and don’t defend yourself right away if you’re being confronted.  Also, don’t try to one-up the other persons’ problems by telling your own story right off the bat. Wait, imagine what they might be feeling and give feedback about you think they might be experiencing using feeling words Most people simply want someone to listen, rather than have their problems “fixed.”

Boundaries: At first, the idea of setting boundaries sounds counter-intuitive when you’re talking about how to better connect with others. However, by setting good boundaries (not walls), you and others will feel safe enough to have genuine encounters and have a chance to truly connect.

Time: Spending time with your staff, fellow workers, and other stakeholders allows for opportunity to bring spontaneous and unintentional good things into play. Time allows for experiential knowledge to take place. Planned time together can be just as effective, especially if events are designed to facilitate interaction at all levels.

Stand Under: The concept of understanding is to feel the weight of the other person, so to speak. Experience the gravity of what they are saying, feeling, and thinking. Be a student of their interests, know their love language, and their life language. Jesus did this a lot in the Gospels–he knew where people lived and worked in their hearts and spoke to those areas with parables.

Keep the conversation going with these five questions:

  1. How do you connect when you don’t know someone?
  2. If you want to get to know someone better, what do you do?
  3. What has not worked for you?
  4. What has worked for you?
  5. What actually disconnected you from others?

Practice the five points above, answer the questions and come to the John C. Maxwell Seminar I’m hosting called Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.