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Why is it that two professors can teach the same course, curriculum, utilize the same textbook, and the same presentations, yet one professor’s class is empty and the other one has a waiting list?
One communicates, the other connects.
In the video above I share three things I learned from John Maxwell’s book Everyone Communicates Few Connect.
1. Connecting Means Focusing On Others
When effective people lead, speak or teach, they see themselves as guides helping others learn.
Sometimes when communicating we are concerned with our own self-image and what people will think of us. Out of neediness we seek praise. Out of insecurity we seek validation and approval. Our ego wants to see us lifted up. In some cases, we may communicate out of a sense of responsibility just to be seen as faithful.
The audience is much more concerned with knowing what you can do for them and whether you care about them. This means communicating with love, grave, gratitude, compassion, and seeing your ability to teach as a gift.
2. Information Is Not Enough
Connection is conviction, passion, and credibility. Do you believe in the message you’re delivering, and is it something that adds value to others?
Many people think they can just give information or logical line of reasoning and it will persuade an audience. This doesn’t work because we overestimate how receptive an audience is to a message.
You have to connect emotionally to move an audience. That means your energy, intensity, and conviction
3. Find Common Ground
Your communication is more effective when you can operate in the same framework as your audience. This is easier said than done.
Miscommunication happens because we assume we already know what other know, feel, and want. Or we think we don’t need to know, or we don’t care to know.
“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.” -Nelson Mandela
When we don’t care to find the common ground, it is an act of selfishness that prevents us from being a ‘giver’ in our communication
Find common ground by being genuinely interested in others and listening to them. It is basic humility in the sense that we have to learn to think of ourselves less, and think of others more
The willingness to see things from others’ point of view is the secret of common ground, and that common ground is the secret to CONNECTING not just communicating.