Over the weekend I was flipping through a few books in my queue and came across Everyone Communicates, Few Connect by John C. Maxwell. The book is focused on the way we communicate on a daily basis. In order to become a leader, you need to enhance and perfect your communication in your day-to-day situations. Maxwell breaks the concept into two main areas: the principles of connection and the practices of well-connected leaders.
There are 5 Key Principles of Connection:
- Connecting increases your influence
- Connecting always focuses on others
- Connecting goes beyond mere words
- Connecting always requires energy
- Connecting is an acquired skill, not a talent
Leaders use these principles with these five practices:
- Always find some common ground
- Work hard to keep everything simple
- Create an experience everyone enjoys
- Say things which inspires the listener
- Have integrity – Live what you’re saying
Of those practices, I was particularly interested in the one that focuses on keeping things simple.
Work Hard to Keep Everything Simple
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. Broadly speaking, the short words are the best, and the old words best of all.
~ Winston Churchill
I was interested in this practice, especially since I’m currently reading Simplify by Richard Koch and Greg Lockwood. Maxwell suggests that instead of using big words and a fancy vocabulary, it’s better to break things down to simple ideas when you want to connect with someone. To assist with that, he suggests five guidelines to keep things simple:
- Get into the habit of talking to people
- Get to the point
- Repeat your key point over and over
- Say what you want to say clearly and without ambiguity
- Always try and say less
These five guidelines are a good start to help you enhance your connections with others. Practicing these skills will improve your discourse and your communications with others. During a quiet holiday weekend, it was nice to have some positive reading about connecting with others to round out the weekend.