Connecting with Others Goes Beyond Words

I am reading John Maxwell’s book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.  I highly recommend this book!  As you may remember, I strive to read 10 pages each day which allows me to read most books in a month or less.  This is book #6 for me since January 1 – yes, I sometimes read more than 10 pages per day!  This is one of those books.

In today’s reading, John writes about connecting with others goes beyond the words we use.  I particularly like the section he entitles “What People Feel – Connecting Emotionally”.  I suppose this struck home with me because I need work in this area.  Here are some points that I want to share that are making me think and act differently:

  • “The colossal misunderstanding of our time is the assumption that insight will work with people who are unmotivated to change….People can only hear you when they are moving toward you, and they are not likely to when your words are pursuing them.  Even the choicest words lose their power when they are used to overpower.”  (Rabbi Edwin H. Friedman)
  • “The exact words that you use are far less important than the energy, intensity, and conviction with which you use them.” (Jules Rose)
  • Effective communicators “pay attention to other people, and they desire to add value to them.”
  • Do you want to improve you communication skills in one-on-one, group, and audience settings?  “You need to be positive, believe in yourself, and focus on others.”

words are the currency

These are just a few of the tidbits found in this great book.  If you are looking for books to read in 2018, add this one to your list!

 

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Become a Detective by Jim Johnson

CEO Next Door

I have been reading the new book, The CEO Next Door, by Elena L. Botelho and Kim R. Powell.  In today’s reading, I came across the phrase “become of detective.”  The context of this speaks of when a leader is trying connect with their team, stakeholders, board members, customers, etc.  Becoming a detective means to work to truly understand the other person’s perspective so great decisions can be made and meaningful directions can be set and navigated.

 

 

So what do the authors state as the key elements of becoming a detective?

  1. Ask questions.  Become curious.  Asking versus telling will help you learn so much more about the other person’s values, needs, wants, concerns, etc.
  2. Engage intellectually.  No simple patronizing nods.  Ask more probing questions.  Follow up.  Follow through.
  3. Listen.  Engaging intellectually means you are actively listening and asking great questions based upon what you have heard.  Listening communicates to the other person you are investing in them – right now.
  4. Gather information to understand.  Don’t make decisions in a vacuum.  Your actions of asking/listening are the vital part of your information gathering.  And all of that should lead to better understanding the situation.
  5. Harness what matters to them.  Nothing frustrates customers/team members more as when a leader appears to have listened and then acts in a way that seems to ignore all of the previous interactions.  If you truly want to connect with your customers/team members, harness what matters to them based upon your interactions with them.

This book will be available at the first of March.  I received my copy through LeaderBox.  Or you can follow this link to pre-order your copy today.  It’s worth the read!

 

LeaderBox – Leadership Resources for YOU

Are you looking for leadership material to read and apply?  I just found a great new resource called LeaderBox.  Each month, LeaderBox will send you books on leadership as well as other resources to help you become better:  a better leader, a better thinker, a better doer.

I am providing a link that you can use to learn more.  Invest in yourself this year.  LeaderBox can help!

Click on the icon below to get started:

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Or follow this link to get started: LeaderBox

20 Ways to Become Better as a Leader by Jim Johnson

Become better square

  1. Set meaningful personal goals and work on them every day.
  2. Practice gratitude every day.
  3. Do random acts of kindness.
  4. Read inspiring, challenging books every day.
  5. Listen to inspiring podcasts.
  6. Follow impactful leadership blogs.
  7. Find and meet with a mentor.
  8. Mentor someone.
  9. Network with other leaders.
  10. Volunteer your time in your community.
  11. Do more than expected at work.
  12. Intentionally meet new leaders in your community.
  13. Write someone a personal note of appreciation.
  14. Say “please” and “thank you”.
  15. Open the door for others.
  16. Smile more.
  17. Listen more than you speak.
  18. Spend time with family and friends.
  19. Laugh – don’t take yourself too seriously.
  20. Develop positive self-talk.

Gritty 

“Grit is having the strength and the resilience to overcome your obstacles to reach your goals. To be gritty, you have to care more about succeeding than your possible failures. It forces you to dig deep in your pain and believe you’re going to accomplish your goals.”

Rodney & Ron Lewis, Gritty.

 

Read a Book?! Me?!

Is this your response if someone asks you to read a book?  I’ve heard it from many people that I encounter.

Studies have shown that when a person graduated high school and even college that a vast majority never read a book after that. When I ask people why they don’t read, I usually get responses such as “who has time to read a book?”

The answer is simple. You do. No, you really do.

In his book, The Slight Edge, Jeff Olson tells us exactly how to read a book, an entire book, and as little as 30 days. Olson suggests that you set aside time to read 10 pages each day. Now I’m not a fast reader, but I can read 10 pages in about 10 minutes. Olson states that if you read 10 pages a day, you’ll finish a 300 page book in a month. But I think too many people look first at the 300 pages and become overwhelmed thinking “I’m never going to read this”. And then they don’t. 

But if you break it down into simple segments – 10 pages a day – you can easily get through a book in a month. This is the secret to the slight edge – taking small incremental steps each day that gets you towards a goal.

What happens when you start to read?

  • You expose yourself to insights and thoughts that you wouldn’t get any other way.
  • You get an opportunity to learn something.
  • Ideas come to you.
  • A difficult situation may become more clear after reading.
  • You begin seeing your world from a different perspective.
  • It will positively affect your leadership style and your leadership abilities.

We probably all have heard it said that leaders are readers. There really is no downside to daily reading a book.

One of my goals for 2017 is to read 12 books this year. So far this month I’m about to finish book number 2. They’re not “long” books but I’m using the slight edge principles to read at least ten pages a day. As a result I’m moving through the books quickly and I’m gaining new knowledge and insight. And I’m journaling things that I’m learning (another goal of mine).

So, what are you reading? Yes, you! Put the slight edge in your favor, find a great book, and start reading. If you need a book list, start with The Slight Edge by Jeff Olson. At the end of this book he lists around a hundred books that he would suggest leaders start reading. That would be a great place to start. Or listen to your favorite podcaster. I bet they’ll be some suggestions there.

In your town there may be a used book store. You can get great deals at places like that. Or go to Amazon. You can buy great used books for a fraction of the original cost. And many of those used books are in great condition.

Don’t limit your leadership abilities by giving yourself excuses not to learn and grow. Start reading. You really will love it.

What Are You Reading?

Reading is one of the best ways to develop yourself.  Here are the books I’m currently reading:

  • The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth by John Maxwell
  • In a Pit with a Lion on a Snowy Day by Mark Battersea
  • Awesomely Simple by John Spence 

What are you reading?