Communicating and Connecting Helps Increase Your Influence
Posted on: July 5, 2011, by : Brandon Gilliland

As I mentioned in a post a few days ago, I am reading the book by John C. Maxwell about communicating. It has been really helpful thus far! As I am going through this book, I want to highlight some of the major concepts in the chapters because they are really helpful!

In the first chapter of the book, Maxwell says:

“It’s not enough just to work hard. It’s not enough to do a great job. To be successful, you need to learn how to really communicate with others.”

This quote is so true. Communication with others is extremely important. But more importantly- connecting while communicating is key!

This is how Maxwell defines connecting:

Connectingthe ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.

For this reason, connecting and effective communicating is vital to be a successful leader. This is why I am reading this book. I want to be able to communicate and connect in ways that I could have never thought I would have been able to do!

In the first chapter of this book, Maxwell talks about how we must desire to connect with others. If we don’t, we are not going to be great at it. I like when he mentiones:

“When you connect with others, you position yourself to make the most of your skills and talents.”

-John C. Maxwell

How would effectively connecting with others specifically help you?

  • jonstolpe

    I think it would change things from a employee vs. manager relationship to a more unified relationship. I realize that I need to be as intentional as possible in communication and connection with my team.

    • Being intentional and connecting with every team member is extremely important. Whether it be a business or a small group! In my case, it is my peers and the worship band I lead.

  • Yes, we can influence more by thinking not just about what we communicate, but about how we communicate. People learn in many different ways. Understanding the way they respond to our messages is actually helpful to them.
    They are more responsive to your ideas if they see that you are willing to listen.
    I try as often as I can to start my talking by first asking them about their needs. In a teaching situation, I ask them how much they already know about the subject I’m presenting.
    When I meet someone for the first time, I ask, ‘What are you most pleased about in your work (life, etc.)?’ Their response tells me how I can better influence them.

  • Alan-I totally agree with you! When you connect with someone, it always has to be about the other person. Great stuff mentioned!

  • Brandon, I’m about 2/3rds of the way through the book and I can’t absorb Maxwell’s advice soon enough. I’ll be speaking in the Middle East in a few weeks so connecting might help me live. ๐Ÿ˜€

    The book is exceptional for public speakers but, as you know, it applies to anyone’s life because we all need to connect to enjoy life in community.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on a book I find insightful.–Tom

    • I’m about the same spot! The book is really good…I have thoroughly enjoyed it!

      That’s cool! What part of the Middle East are you speaking in?

      • Zarqa, Jordan on July 17th. I read about brevity, levity, & repetition this morning and plan to keep that in mind when I speak. I’ll have a mixed congregation of Jordanians, Americans, and Koreans. Should provide a great anecdote whether I connect or miss altogether.

        • I would love to hear about your experiences – I imagine it will be interesting on so many levels.

          • I’ll be posting on my website––while I’m in the Middle East. Our work team flies into Tel Aviv on Sunday, spends a few nights in Bethlehem, takes in the Holy Land sites, then heads to our work in Jordan. Should provide some interesting stuff–hope to write up to the level of the experiences.–Tom

      • Cool! Good luck connecting with your audience over there!

  • I am always fascinated with how some people seem to naturally be able to connect with large groups of people while others one on one. An odd observation is that sometimes those who are quite charismatic and able to keep a large group hanging on their every word are quite adept at interacting alone or in a small group. As someone who is much more comfortable in smaller groups, my challenge is to step out and communicate in larger group settings. It is easy to just stand back and watch others interact.

    • A lot of what you do to connect one on one applies to the large group. A lot of people miss in a larger setting because they move away from what works in an isolated conversation or a small group. No matter what the situation, your focus is on the other person rather than you or your content.–Tom

      • Know yourself. Know your audience. Speak on their level to communicate what they need to hear.

        Yep…works on a small group level and a large group level ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I agree with both of you…great thoughts!

  • Great stuff Brandon! Connecting, communicating effectively, is essential in so many areas of life. I think it is one of those things that we need to consistently and constantly work at.

    • Definitely! And in this area, we can always improve.

  • Andrew

    Thanks for the provoking post. I can honestly say that the majority of leadership failures I’ve faced in my life have been rooted in a lack of communication. It’s so encouraging to see students crave to be effective communicators. Regardless of how great our vision or passion is, communication is the vehicle we use to convey it. I know the Lord is going to bless your diligent work.

    • Thanks for stopping by! Great thoughts!

  • I’ve read the book and it was great. I have learned and still am learning the importance of connecting with people. No matter if its one person or a group. I have found that connecting through emotions work well. Thanks for sharing.

    • Yeah…I am a little over half of the way done with the book, and it is great! I’m reading about 4 books right now so it will take me a little longer to go through it. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I’ve had many people recommend some of Maxwell’s stuff to me. I’ll have to check it out. My dad has this insane ability to connect with people. The amazing thing is not necessarily that he gets his point across but that people sincerely like him and open up to him.
    I’d like to connect on so many levels, but I think the biggest one right now is as a teacher of a small group class at church. It’s a great privilege but also a great responsibility to bring God’s word to them every week.

    • Hey Loren,
      I believe we all have the ability to learn how to connect with people. Some people are born with that ability and some need to learn it. You definitely need to pick up some of John Maxwell’s books, they are all great.

      • I totally agree! Thanks for chiming in!

  • It helps me all the time! In fact, my current blog is expanding at it’s current rate because I’m able to connect with so many amazing people!

    • Yeah! Your blog has really taken off since I saw the first post!

  • Do you have a Facebook page or Twitter? Would love to follow you there, I’m on my iPhone and love reading your stuff! Plase check my free ipad 2 blog, hope you will find interesting information about free ipad 2 there!

  • This is great perspective for romantic relationships as well. As I prepare for marriage, I am realizing more and more how vital it is to communicate effectively.

    This sounds like a great book, Brandon!

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