Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John C. Maxwell trains you on the ability to connect. Maxwell briefs you on the principles and then the skills of connection. This is a pinnacle factor for success today. Our society is becoming a highly connected society and those with this skill will excel beyond others . Connection happens when we see others go the extra mile for us, we get unsolicited appreciation, others show an ungraded openness, their communication increases with us, experiences are enjoyable with emotional bondedness, while a positive energy brings us into a growing synergy, and unconditional love causes others to accept us without reservation. How do we get to the place where these attributes become part of us?
Maxwell lists five connecting principles.
1. Connecting increases your influence with others. Talk more about the other person, bring something they value to them, and ask others how you can help them.
2. Connecting is about others. Instead of correcting others, focus on them and connecting with them. To value others , we must first value them. Others ask: Do you genuinely care about me? Can you help me? And can I trust you?
3. Connecting goes beyond words. Your actions speak louder than words. More than 90% of an impression has nothing to do with what we actually say. Every message contains a piece of you. Connecting then is how people see you. Do you have a sense of purpose and an open posture? Do people understand you. When you find yourself you find your audience. When connecting emotionally, people may hear your words, but do they feel your attitude. When speaking your words with tone, inflection, timing, volume, pacing you enlarge the connection factor.
4. Connecting takes energy requiring us to be deliberate about it, such as spending time together, remembering names, making others feel special. Show initiative and approach others, preparing yourself, being patient, being selfless and giving, and having stamina which is taking time to recharge.
5. Connecting is more skill than natural talent. What makes people listen is the quality of relationships, who you know, what you know, what you have done, what you can do and how you have lived. Have an interest in the other person, place value in that person, put their interests ahead of yours, express gratitude to and for that person.
Five practices that will help you connect.
1. Find common ground. The first rule to connecting is finding what you have in common, and this happens when you don't focus just on yourself. What prevents this happening is making assumptions that you know how others know, feel, think, arrogance in that you don't need to know, indifference or not caring, and control where you don't want others to know.
Cultivating common ground includes availability... choosing to spend time with others; listening... paying attention to what others are saying; asking questions...finding out more about the person or going deeper; thoughtfulness... being considerate of life events important to someone else; openness... allowing people into your life and being vulnerable; likability... when you like people, they like you; humility... lifting up others, more than grandizing yourself; adaptability... being flexible thinking of others world, their challenges, their dreams. Connectors go first. Be the first to ask, asking others how they feel, what they see, what they know, what they want. When you really want to get to know someone ask what they dream about, what they sing about, what they cry about. As you get to know them, share where you have common ground.
2. Keep it simple. When sharing information it should be characterized with humor, having heart, bringing hope, and helping the other person. The art of simplicity is easy to understand but harder to do. Talk to people, not above them. Get to the point. Say it over and over again. (To get it, people need to hear it often.) Say it clearly with short simple sentences. Ask for feedback and what they heard.
3. Create an experience everyone will enjoy. How can you be interesting? Take responsibility for your listeners and change yourself first to help them grasp you. Get into their world and communicate in terms they relate to. Capture people's attention from the start by making reference to a situation at hand, introduce yourself, relax, use humor, create a sense of anticipation. Activate your listener by asking questions, getting people moving, doing something. Say it so it sticks by linking to what people need while being original. Be visual by creating mind pictures people can easily see too. Tell stories and share part of your life. Be the kind of person others would want to connect with.
4. Inspire people. People need to know that you understand them and are focused on them, that you have insight to what they are thinking, what they are saying. They need to know you have high expectations of them and belief they are capable of those expectations. People need to see your convictions, credibility, that your character is evident. People need to feel your passion for the subject and for them. Do I believe what I say, has it changed me, will it help others, and change others? They need to feel your gratitude for them. Say the right things at the right time and help people with action plans. Tell them the importance they have and what they can become. Keep them inspired.
5. Live out what you communicate. People trust you when the way you live outweighs your words. You are the message. Connect with yourself, honestly right your wrongs and willingly apologize, acknowledge mistakes to others, and make appropriate amends. Be accountable, tell the truth, be vulnerable, and treat others the way you would want to be treated. Deliver results. To be successful in the long run you need to connect, keep connecting and live out what you communicate.
Connecting is not a talent but a skill you can learn, and by applying these principles on a regular basis you will become a premier connector, influencing change in the world.
The John Maxwell blog:
How to develop a strong prayer life?
Prayer has different expressions. There's devotional prayer (reading God's Word and fellowshipping with an intimacy with God), intercession for revival and justice, being a prayer covering which is praying for others and God's protection for them, healing and direction, and praying for the sick. A consistent prayer life is essential for any mission called of God in one's life to be fulfilled through them.
Prayer energizes your spirit, releases God's blessing, and results in changes in people around us, circumstances around us, even without us taking direct action. It softens people's hearts so they are receptive to what we say to them.
God asks us to pray so we connect with His heart to have a deeper relationship with Him. As God said of David, that he was a man after His own heart, inspite of all the atrocities he committed while being King of Israel. Asking is a foundational principle of the kingdom of God at work around us. The Bible specifically says to ask. We should not just think and dwell on our needs and problems, things we are frustrated about or desperate about. In everything by prayer, let your requests be known to God.
There are blessings that God has chosen to give, but that He withholds until we ask Him. In this way, He protects His relationship with us by not answering until we connect with Him and ask.
Three ways to strength our prayer life are to schedule prayer, make prayer lists, and have a right view of God. Scheduled time for prayer, as your sanctuary time with God in His inner Chamber, should be held sacredly in your life. Lists keep us on track to cover what is close to our hearts and things we need to persevere in prayer for. Our prayer focus should include intimacy, to love and adore God, petition, asking God's blessing on our lives and mission, and intercession to pray for others, places and concerns in the world. In prayer, prayer brings us His Gifts of the Spirit that work Supernaturally through our lives, fruit of His Spirit that we function in His character of love, and wisdom which is having God's mind be part of our mind.
The view of God in prayer is that He is a tender loving father, who loves us, is wanting to help us. He has the desire and power to do it. He is not inattentive to our voice to Him and He controls all the power of the universe to the smallest detail in that He can help us. He seeks to be close to us and work close along side us. See God as enjoying being with you and He wants you to enjoy being with Him.
One substantial way to bolster your prayer life is by feeding on His Word. When in a posture of prayer, and mind focused on God, the reading of the Scriptures enlarges our Spirit to receive all of who He is. Scriptures give you the conversational material for your prayer life and makes prayer more enjoyable. Bible study leads to more dialogue with God. Scriptures enlarge your capacity for believing His promises as they are presented, and exhorting you to obey what His principles say.
Take time to journal and write down what is impressed to you in prayer. Take time to linger in His presence. That's why scheduling and setting aside specific time is so important. Speak affectionately, speak slowly and softly, speak in short phrases as this is how we normally think, speak minimally and allow silence with pauses.
This will bring strength with might to your inner man through His Spirit.
For more, google Mike Bickle, How to develop a strong prayer life. He has a video and outline to down load on the above.