People cannot succeed in life without communicating effectively. It’s not enough just to work hard. It’s not enough to do a great job. To be successful, you need to learn how to really communicate with others.
Good communication and leadership are all about connecting. If you can connect with others at every level — one-on-one, in groups and with an audience — your relationships are stronger, your sense of community improves, your ability to create teamwork increases, your influence increases and your productivity skyrockets.
Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them. Why is that important? Because the ability to communicate and connect with others is a major determining factor in reaching your potential. To be successful, you must work with others. And to do that at your absolute best, you must learn to connect.
According to the Harvard Business Review, “The No.1 criteria for advancement and promotion for professionals is an ability to communicate effectively.” That means connecting! If you learned to connect better, it would change your life.
Connecting is crucial whether you’re trying to lead a child or a nation. President Gerald Ford once remarked, “If I went back to college again, I’d concentrate on two areas: learning to write and to speak before an audience. Nothing in life is more important than the ability to communicate effectively.” Talent isn’t enough. Experience isn’t enough. To lead others, you must be able to communicate well, and connecting is key.
It Starts With Your Attitude
The ability to connect with others begins with understanding the value of people. Jim Collins, author of Good to Great, observes, “Those who build great companies understand that the ultimate throttle on growth for any great company is not markets, or technology, or competition, or products. It is the one thing above all others — the ability to get and keep enough of the right people.” You do that by connecting with these people.
You can become more effective by learning to connect with every kind of person in any situation by:
• Focusing on others
• Expanding your connecting vocabulary beyond just words
• Marshalling your energy for connecting
• Gaining insight in how great connectors connect.
Here are five practical skills of connection to acquire:
• Finding common ground
• Making your communication simple
• Capturing people’s interest
• Inspiring them
• Being authentic.
These are things anyone can learn to do.