Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Focusing on Others (2)

I joined a Mastermind group which is taking the book by the leadership guru John C. Maxwell called “Everyone Communicates Few Connect” and going through the book one chapter a week.    The first part of the book consists of 5 chapters on Connecting Principles, and the second part of the book consists of 5 chapters on Connecting Practices.

I am going to cover each chapter with one blog post, taking notes based on my reading of the chapter.    Rather than simply a summary of each chapter, I hope these notes will provide my own interpretation of the material, especially regarding the ways it applies to the various facets of my life where I am applying leadership (in church, in Toastmasters, as a project manager).    I hope to relate my experiences learning foreign languages and working in foreign countries to the subject of communication.


Chapter 2–Connecting Is All About Others

The first chapter was an introduction to the importance of connecting rather than just communicating.   The second chapter starts getting into the principles behind connecting with others.

The last post dealt with John Maxwell’s decision in his early career to get better at communicating.   But how to do it remained a mystery, at least until he attended a Success Seminar in Dayton, Ohio…

1.  Zig Ziglar inspires John Maxwell

Zig Ziglar inspired John Maxwell at the Success Seminar he was holding in Dayton, Ohio.   John felt that he really connected with the speaker, and then Zig Ziglar put into words something that changed John’s life:   “If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.”    He resolved from then on to study good communicators, and try himself to connect with others by focusing on them and their needs above his own.

2.   Three Blocks at Connecting

There are three personality traits people have that can block a person’s ability to connect with others.   Fortunately, all these traits are curable!

  • Immaturity–if you cannot see and act on behalf of others, you don’t know to see things from someone else’s point of view
  • Ego–if you have a disproportionately large sense of your own importance, chances are that you have a disproportionately small sense of the importance of others
  • Failure to Value Everyone–you cannot add value to others, if you don’t first value them as they are
  • Insecurity–if you lack confidence, you will try to impress others, but this is only using others to bolster your own self-image; it is not giving to others for their own sake.

No matter what business you are in, you must end up being in the people business.    You are there to serve your customers or your clients, if you do so, the product or service you are offering them will sell itself.

The next post deals with three questions people have which echo their inner expectations of you when they meet you.  By paying attention to these questions, you can make sure you not only meet, but exceed people’s expectations.


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