Can you believe it’s almost the end of August? This week I’m in San Diego, using the break between speaking engagements to work on ideas and outlines for my book for 2011.
And of course, NEXT week is the launch of the interactive writing experience for my 2010 book.
News to you? Then be sure to read this introductory post.
On the first of September, Chapter 1 of my upcoming book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, goes LIVE. The chapter will be available for you to read in its entirety – and provide feedback in the comments.
- See a typo? You’ll be able to tell me.
- Don’t “get” a concept in the way I explained it? Ask me for clarification.
- Disagree? You can state your case.
- Want to contribute a personal story that illustrates an idea in the chapter? You’ll be able to share it.
The comment section will be the place for you to contribute to this book. So get ready to share your ideas on September 1. (You’ll only be able to read and share your input on Chapter 1 for a limited time, so don’t delay.)
And today, to whet your appetite, here’s the PROLOGUE to Everyone Communicates, Few Connect:
Last month I received an overseas phone call from Sangeeth Varghese, author, columnist, and founder of LeadCap, an organization developing leaders in India. I enjoyed talking to Sangeeth, but we had a problem. Our phone connection was bad. I bet we got disconnected nearly a dozen times. One minute we’d be enjoying our conversation on leadership, and the next minute the line would go dead.
Everybody’s had that happen during a phone call. It’s the reason Verizon did their “Can you hear me now?” campaign. When your phone drops a call, you know it, don’t you? And what is your reaction? How does it make you feel? Annoyed? Frustrated? Angry?
Have you ever thought about why you react the way you do when you get disconnected? Being disconnected wastes your time. It interrupts the flow of what you’re trying to accomplish. And it undermines your productivity. The bottom line is that connecting is everything when it comes to communication.
You know when you don’t have a good connection on the phone, but how about when you’re communicating with people in person? Do you know when a connection has been made? Can you tell when the connection is starting to go bad? Can you identify when the “call” has been dropped?
Most people have an easy time knowing when the connection is good on the phone. But they have no idea if they’re connecting with others in other everyday situations.
How do I tell? How do I know that I’ve connected with others? I look for the signs. When I interact with people, whether one on one, in a group, or with an audience, I know I’ve connected when I sense . . .
- Extra Effort – people go the extra mile
- Unsolicited Appreciation – they say positive things
- Unguarded Openness – they demonstrate trust
- Increased Communication – they express themselves more readily
- Enjoyable Experiences – they feel good about what they’re doing
- Emotional Bondedness – they display a connection on an emotional level
- Positive Energy – their emotional “batteries” are charged by being together
- Growing Synergy – their effectiveness is greater than the sum of the contributions
- Unconditional Love – they are accepting without reservation
Any time I interact with people and I see evidence of these signals, I know I’m connecting. I’ve learned what it takes to connect with others, and I’ve learned to gauge when I’m succeeding.
How are you doing when it comes to connecting? When you interact one on one with someone important in your life, do you receive these signals? When you lead a meeting or attend a group function, are these connecting characteristics evident? When you speak to an audience, do you connect with them in such a way that you’re not only effective at communicating, but it’s also a highly enjoyable experience for you and them? If you can’t answer these questions with a resounding yes, then you need to improve your ability to connect with people. Everyone talks. Everyone communicates. But few connect. Those who do take their relationships, their work, and their lives to another level.
If you want to learn how to connect and thereby become more effective in everything you do, there’s good news. Even if connecting with others isn’t something you’re good at today, you can learn how to do it and become better tomorrow. And that’s why I wrote this book. In the first part of the book, I’ll help you to learn the five principles that are foundational for understanding how to connect with people. In the second part, you’ll learn five practices that anyone can do to connect with others—regardless of age, experience, or natural abilty.
Ready? Let’s get started.
Update September 1: Comments for this post are now closed.