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.

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