The Magic of Connecting, Part One
Updated: Feb 7
As I prepare for my next keynote speech on “The Magic of Connecting,” I love what my mentor and friend, John C. Maxwell, says in his book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect. He says, “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.”
I remember years ago when I worked in a grocery store in the produce department. My immediate supervisor was not a connector. In the four months that I worked there, she never once said, “Good morning,” or when I left, “Good-bye,” or “Have a great day,” unless I initiated it. She rarely spoke to me unless it was work-related. I would even test it at times. I’d be putting the radishes on the shelf early in the morning and when I saw her come through the front doors, I would watch her walk in, even feet away from me, and she never said a word. It turned into a game for me as I would test it on many occasions. Because she never asked me any questions or what I did outside of work, I didn’t think she cared, to the point I just thought she didn’t like me. She definitely didn’t want to make a connection with me or want to influence me in any way.
What is influence? Influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character, development, or behavior of someone or something. Why is a leader’s ability to influence someone so important? Here are three reasons:
#1 If you don’t have influence, you will never be able to lead others.
#2 Influence motivates people to move and take action.
#3 Influence makes a positive impact on the lives of others.