Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 8

I always find it ironic that while I’m reading these books, I come across life examples the day after I write a post. And then, I’ll continue reading and I’ll come across something else that happened the day before! It freaking blows my mind.

“In the end, people are persuaded not by what we say, but by what they understand.”[note]Page 165[/note]

If you can speak clearly and simply and validate that they understand, you’re more likely to connect with them. I followed up with a prospect shortly after having a great conversation with them. I thought the conversation went great… them on the other hand… they were confused. I was talking in the terminology I talk with my coworkers. Of course the prospect wasn’t going to understand me. Shame on me!

“The bottom line when it comes to holding people’s interest and connecting with others is that you should try to be the kind of communicator you would like to hear.”[note]Page 192[/note]

Who comes to mind right away for you? Simon Sinek (@simonsinek) is my favorite communicator and speaker. The way he can connect with his audience is absolutely amazing. I’ve only seen him talk in videos! The passion, excitement and his ability to connect with the audience is how he separates himself from other speakers.

“Connecting has a lot to do with letting who you are influence everything you do.” – Brad Cork[note]Page 210[/note]

I’m sure that I’m interpreting this quote differently than you. I think it means; use your character to influence everything you do. You, as a person, are going to be the sole driving factor behind connecting with people in whichever way you please. People can tell you to do things… but until you want it and feel it, you’re not going to put everything into it. Where’s the passion? Brand yourself and allow your brand to speak for you. Better make sure you’ve got a kick ass brand!!

“People need to feel your gratitude for them”[note]Page 217[/note]

If you take some of their time, make sure they know how thankful you are. I’m getting in the habit of always thanking my listeners for their time. Not only thanking them for their time prior to me speaking, but also thanking them when I’m all done. Also, if they’re inspired and walk away with some new knowledge… thank them again! As you continue to inspire people, you’re going to build credibility. People trust people that are credible.

“When a person is credible, the longer the time, the better it gets. For someone who lacks credibility, the longer the time, the worse it gets. Credibility is currency for leaders and communicators.”[note]Page 230[/note]

And just like that, you know what you need to be doing. Establish credibility! You can fake credibility… but it’s a guarantee that it’s going to bite you in the butt later. Have you ever spoken with someone that you thought was really credible? And then you found out a few days later that they’re just full of shit? It sucks when that happens, but it happens all the time.

“Credibility is all about trust.”[note]Page 231[/note]

While you’re speaking with someone that is credible, you worry less. You take their word for what it is and follow in their footsteps. If you don’t trust them… you’ll probably fact check them or Google the answer you’re looking for. Credibility and trust is a huge driving factor in our jobs, in sales, communicating and connecting. If you aren’t building your brand, becoming a credible resource and gaining the trust of others, you’re going in the wrong direction.

Another incredible point Maxwell makes as we talk about credibility:

“Credibility is not perfection but a willingness to admit imperfection.” – Roger[note]Page 239[/note]

Yes… We all want to be perfect… But we all know that’s impossible. It’s okay to screw up. Take accountability, say you’re sorry and strive to be better. When someone asks you a question that you don’t have the answer to… don’t lie and give them some silly answer. Tell them you’ll figure it out and get back to them. They’ll appreciate the honesty and the ability to get it answered. Being honest makes you vulnerable and that makes people feel uncomfortable. Get comfortable being uncomfortable because if you aren’t pushing your boundaries, I don’t think you’re growing.

It’s your turn! Go out there, connect, establish credibility, engage with your network, provide value, and thank them. Show your gratitude!


Connect with me on Twitter @Barta57

Connect with John on Twitter @JohnCMaxwell


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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 7

Assumptions… I’m sure you’ve assumed something before and were completely wrong. It happens all the time. We assume stuff before we know the facts. It’s never a good thing and we always get ourselves in trouble because of it.

“All miscommunications are the result of differing assumptions”. – Jerry Ballard[note]Page 125[/note]

It’s as simple as that. Everybody has different feelings, thought processes and perspectives. Assuming things about people won’t get you very far. That goes for generalizations too. We’re all guilty of it! We judge people based on their looks all the time. You’re shooting yourself in the foot even before attempting to make contact with that person.

Then, when you try to connect with that person, the assumptions you have about them block your ability to see them for who they really are. You can’t find a common ground with someone when you’ve already decided who they are… but you have no idea.

This next part gave me an Ah-Ha moment that will stick in my brain forever! It makes so much sense because I’ve lived it first hand with multiple jobs…. and I’m sure you have too. When employees feel like information is being hidden from them at work they feel like outsiders. They’re being alienated… and they know it.

“We the uninformed, working for the inaccessible, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful!” – Jim Lundy[note]Page 130[/note]

It’s so true! When things are hidden from you, or there’s always gossip at the water cooler, you feel left out. Managers, keep your people in the loop. Let them know what’s going on. Just because you’re a boss, it doesn’t mean you should isolate yourself from the lower level employees. You can’t connect with your people when you’re alienating them. How are they supposed to feel appreciated?

If possible, get their feedback. Include them in the decision making process. You’d be amazed at the motivation you can give people when you include them on things.

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. People like people who like them.”[note]Page 137[/note]

It’s pretty true if you think about it. Nobody wants to be sold to. Nobody wants to be looked at as a means to an end. People want to feel like you understand them. They want to feel appreciated. If you can do that, you can connect with anybody. Show people that you care and that you’re willing to help them, and they will return the favor.

“Adapt to them – don’t expect them to adapt to you.”[note]Page 142[/note]

Ask people ‘why?’ Get to know them. Be intrigued. Take the initiative to get off your agenda and onto theirs. It’s what Maxwell has been talking about throughout the entire book!

When making the attempt to connect with people, talk with people and sell to people, I think of the acronym K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Stupid. Being simple is hard… you have to convey a message worth listening to.

“It takes great effort to make any kind of communication concise, precise and impacting.”[note]Page 152[/note]

That’s exactly what I’m trying to accomplish here, with this blog. Simple, short, and to the point. Providing value to my readers. Make your point, make it good and provide value!


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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 6

This week has been really busy productive! I can’t tell you how many new connections I’ve made this week, or how many incredible conversations I’ve had, but I can tell you that it took a lot of energy. Which is great! Now I can reflect on my week and tell myself, “Maybe you should do a little less, or maybe you can handle a little more.” It’s important to figure out where the sweet spot is so you don’t get burnt out.

When you really give it your all and the person you’re talking to can feel your passion, it can get tiring.

“People who want to connect with others must give it their all. And that takes energy!”[note]Page 88[/note]

Mentally, emotionally and even physically. Remember, people don’t always remember what you say… they remember how you make them feel. You better bet that I’m going to make that person feel as good as possible. If you can do this correctly, the person you’re talking to will truly trust you. Trust goes a long way in every profession.

I absolutely LOVE this next part. It will scream volumes for you too!!

“…the illusion of the first time…”- Jerry Weissman[note]Page 88[/note]

Think of someone giving a presentation to you. Now, think of that same person giving the exact same presentation to a new group of people next week. Each presentation needs to have as much passion, excitement and engagement as the first one! The presenter knows that the presentation is for the audience and not them self. Famous legend Joe DiMaggio once said,

“I always remind myself that there might be someone in the stands who never saw me play before.”[note]Page 89[/note]

Give it your all every time! There’s a good chance the person on the other end of the phone hasn’t heard your pitch before. You better make it memorable. If you’re a recruiter, and you’re interviewing someone; interview them like they’re the first person you’ve ever recruited. If you’re in HR and you’re delivering training… deliver the training with the same passion you had when you first did it!

Okay, so, let’s say you know someone super connected. Personal referrals go a long ways, right?!

“‘Who’ you know can open the door for you to connect with someone. Of Course, once the door is open, you still have to deliver!”[note]Page 102[/note]

Boom… it’s as easy as that! Just because people are going to stick their neck out for you and make an introduction, you have to be able to back it up! Honestly, a lot of personal growth and success comes from the help of other people. My last two jobs were from personal referrals. They stuck their necks out for me to get me the interview, but I sure as hell had to deliver. The realtor found a great town home for me to move into… I had to have the money and credit score to qualify for the place. Some of my connections are willing to facilitate introductions for me. I better over deliver when it comes time for me to have that meeting.

“If you have an area of expertise and generously share it with others, you give people reasons to respect you and develop a sense of connection with you.”[note]Page 103[/note]

You’d be surprised at the amount of people that will follow from afar. I’m guilty of it and I bet you are too. You look to someone for information and enjoy everything they talk/write about, but you haven’t introduced yourself. What do you have to lose? Show them they provide value to you and you’d love to introduce yourself. I reach out to people all the time because they write interesting stuff. Your network can grow so fast!

“America has a success culture. People want to be successful, and they seek out others who have accomplished something to get their advice. If you are successful in anything you do, there will be people who will want to listen to you.”[note]Page 103[/note]

There is always going to be someone better at something than you, and there is always going to be people looking to you for advice. Once you’ve established yourself as a credible resource and connection, the more people are going to look at you for information. Never stop learning! Maybe what you share today isn’t going to connect with all of your followers, but I can almost guarantee that someone is going to have an “Ah-Ha” moment. Look where I started… and look how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time. It’s cliche… but anything can happen.


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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 5

Connecting with people and growing your network requires a lot of energy! It doesn’t just happen over night and it takes a long time!

“If you want to connect with others, you must be intentional about it. And that always requires energy.”[note]Page 72[/note]

If you’re in sales, marketing, customer service, HR… or any job working with people, you’re always connecting and communicating. You’re spending countless hours doing your job. Are you tired at the end of the day?! Heck ya.. I’ve had the opportunity to connect with Jack Kosakowski (@JackKosakowski1) on LinkedIn. He puts an incredible amount of time and energy into his work and I can tell you that it makes a difference. He is a change creator… And he’s always connecting and providing value… and he does it intentionally!

“If you want to connect, don’t wait. Initiate![note]Page 79[/note]

Basically… Get it done! One of my favorite quotes is from bodybuilder Ronnie Coleman, “Ain’t nothin’ to it but to do it”. What do you have to lose? You can’t go through life scared! You’ll never get anywhere. People are people. Find a talking point to initiate a conversation and go for it.

“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up not doing anything for anybody.” – Malcolm Bane[note]Page 79[/note]

I think that’s a fun way to look at it. You’re never going to be able to please everybody, so you might as well start somewhere and start pleasing anybody. Call the CEO of a company and begin a conversation. Tweet someone really powerful. Send a connection request to your favorite writer.

For some reason, we think that there is a perfect moment in life to do things. There is no perfect moment to initiate a conversation with someone. It might be awkward or you’re scared, but you have to move past it.

“The people who connect with others are the ones who go ahead and do what the rest of us never quite got around to.”[note]Page 81[/note]

They’re change creators; they ask for help; they acknowledge their weakness and see the strength in someone else. Get over the insecurity and worry, and just do it!

However, once you’ve made a connection with someone, the rest takes patience. Remember, you have to get off your agenda and onto theirs. You can’t just email someone on Monday and expect them to trust you by Friday. It doesn’t work like that.

“Good connections don’t always run the fastest, but they are able to take others with them. They exhibit patience. They set aside their own agendas to include others.”[note]Page 85[/note]

Would you rather move extremely fast by yourself or a little slower with a team? Getting to the finish line is great, but having a group of people to share it with is even better. And, if you move too fast, you have to wait for everyone to catch up… and then you’re still losing time. It takes energy to move with someone faster than you and it takes energy to move with someone slower than you… so if you operate at the same speed, you’ll save energy and frustration. Patience is key in all aspects of life!


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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 4

If you can create a connection with someone where you can exude conviction, passion and credibility, you’re headed in the right direction. If you’re going to connect with someone, you also need to make sure that your communication goes beyond words.

“As a species, we remember 85 to 90 perfect of what we see but less than 15 percent of what we hear.” – Sonya Hamlin[note]Page 53[/note]

Make sense right… now think about it. A lot of the things we do, we have a visual. Being in the information age, we’re always seeing new things… so you need to stick out… BIG TIME. I’m sure you spend all day on Twitter, LinkedIn Facebook and YouTube… so what catches your eye?

You need to be able to do that with people when you’re connecting with them. I know sales people that wear fun ties and socks. You can guarantee the prospect is going to remember them. Sales people often put images of their children on their computer so the prospect can ‘AWW’ at how cute their family is. You’ve only got a few seconds to win people over, so you better make the most of it!

“Expand Your Range of Expressions”[note]Page 56[/note]

Be excited, smile, move your eyebrows… use emotions to help tell a story or convey a message. Why do you think comedians are so good at what they do? Because they’re able to tell a joke and put emotion behind it.

I took American Sign Language growing up and the number one lesson everyone learns, other than memorization, is that you have to use facial expressions to convey a message. I challenge you to watch this TED talks. It’s pretty entertaining and only 5:55 long.

“People may hear your words, but they feel your attitude. That will either enable you to connect with people and win them over, or it will alienate them and cause you to lose them.”[note]Page 65[/note]

It’s another one of those things that you forget on a daily basis. Words are one thing, but the attitude behind it is how people feel about you. It’s hard to put a finger on it, but I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. There’s those people that are confident and charismatic and then there’s those people that aren’t. That’s the different between half full or half empty type people. We all know a few of each and we all know which are easier to talk to and connect with.

My favorite “Ah-Ha” from this section of the book is about charisma.

“Here’s the bottom line on charisma. You don’t have to be gorgeous, a genious, or a masterful orator to possess presence and to connect with others. You just need to be positive, believe in yourself, and focus on others.”[note]Page 66[/note]

Sounds too easy… right? It’s not! After moving over to my new job, I had no idea what I was talking about when it came to the product. So What! I picked up the phone, called people with a positive attitude and began a dialogue. I even had to answer questions with, “I don’t know the answer to that question, but I’ll find it and get back to you.” It’s all about the state of mind and being helpful!

I’m very capable of being positive, engaging with people and problem solving… AND I bet you are too!

“Your message must be your own. So must your style. Work to discover that style and to develop your skills as a connector in every kind of situation.”[note]Page 69[/note]

I can not reiterate this enough! Whatever you do in life, make it your own. Add your own personal flair! You don’t need to recreate the wheel, but you need to personalize everything. It’s really common in sales roles to get email templates from coworkers. I LOVE it! But, in order for you to like the email, internalize the email and use the email, you need to add your personal touch to it.

I have an email I created that has an outstanding open and response rate. I’ve given it to other people to see what type of success they would have. Guess what… all they did was copy and paste it… and they had little success. Then they came back to me and complained that it didn’t work. I immediately asked them, “Did you make it your own and personalize it?” Their response, “No.”

So I sent them back to their desk and asked them to personalize it… and bam. They received the responses they were looking for. This goes the same for connecting with people. It isn’t a cut and paste technique. One way may work for someone that doesn’t work for anybody else.

why lose 10 lbs? -> Taurus Zodiac Sign

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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 3

While connecting and developing relationships with people, you will begin to trust one another. That trust will blossom into something beautiful that all sales people strive for; referrals, letters of recommendations and raving reviews. If you take care of your clients, provide value and show them you care, they will make the introductions for you.

“Business goes where it wants to, but it stays where it’s appreciated. – Mike Otis”[note]Page 42[/note]

I recently received an email from someone that used to be a client of my company. They were so happy with their service from their prior job, that they wanted to meet and learn more about me and my current position. That screams volumes! They want to connect with me because they had such a good experience. Who knows what could come of it! It’ll definitely give me an inside look of what she experienced while using my company’s product.

“Whenever people take action, they do so for their reasons, not yours of mine.”[note]Page 42[/note]

That’s a pretty obvious statement, but it’s a nice reminder. They’re trying to fix something if they’re looking to make a change. It’s our job to get on their agenda and see their issues from their point of view. It’s all about them because we’re trying to fix their problems.

“You can connect with others if you’re willing to get off your own agenda, to think about others, and to try to understand who they are and what they want.”[note]Page 44[/note]

That drives home the whole concept of connecting with people! Ask people, “how can I help you?” Don’t go into a conversation trying to work on your agenda. The last thing you want to do is upset the person you were trying to connect with. If they don’t feel like their time is being valued, they won’t be connecting with you in the future. Be a great listener, find out what they value and build a relationship around your common values.

Talking to people is one way to convey a message. Words and tone of voice are two of the three components that help people get their message across.

“In situations where feelings and attitudes are being communicated:

  • What we say accounts for only 7 percent of what is believed.
  • The way we say it accounts for 38 percents.
  • What others see accounts for 55 percent”[note]Page 48[/note]

What do those numbers say to you? Well, hell! If I do business over the phone, I better make sure that I’m always passionate, excited and have great information to provide. If I meet face to face, I better make sure I’m listening, intrigued and in a good mood. If body language and appearance, play such a large part in communicating, I better make sure I’m looking extra sharp.

You need to make sure that you’re able to convey all three while communicating.

“… When I include all three components – thought, emotion, and action – my communication has conviction, passion and credibility.”[note]Page 50[/note]

If you can do those three things with anybody, you’ll be making connections all the time. Imagine the size of your network and imagine the size of your reach with your network! You’ll be successful in no time!

nice! -> Scorpio Zodiac Sign

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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 2

Regardless of what industry you’re in, your job title, what you aspire to do, everybody wants to connect!

“Yes, people are people. And wherever you find them, they desire to connect with others!”[note]Page 18[/note]

And just like that, Maxwell drives home the point about connecting. One thing that this blurb makes me think about, is my time in Germany. If you’ve read my ‘about me‘ section, you will know that I lived there for 7 months. Going to festivals, beer halls and other outdoor activities, you often find yourself at a large table. Next thing you know, you’re talking with people from all over the city and country. I was connecting with people! I even connected with those people on Facebook and have been following their careers. It’s Insane!

“If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want” – Zig Ziglar[note]Page 28[/note] “Connecting is never about me. It’s about the person whom I’m communicating”[note]Page 29[/note]

We’ve grown up doing everything we’ve ever wanted. It was all about me and I was going to do me, all the time. Me, Me, Me, I, I, I. That is the wrong mindset and you need to change. It’s all about the service of other people. Maybe you’re in sales, or the service industry… so you should know what I’m talking about! If you don’t, you’re doing it wrong. Help others get from point A to point B, and they will help you in return! Make sure they enjoy their metaphorical travels too.

If you’re seeking someone out; you know what you have to offer will bring value to them. If they’re seeking you out; they know what you have to offer and think it will bring value to them.

“To succeed in life, we must learn to work with and through others.”[note]Page 34[/note]

It’s plain, simple and to the point! When you needed help on a paper in school, who did you go to? When you needed help on your resume, who did you go to? If you’ve got questions at work and don’t know the answers, who do you ask? Look! You’re already connecting with people. You’re already working with and through others and you didn’t know it. Keep it up and make sure you help those people in return. You won’t get very far in life if you’re trying to figure everything out by yourself.

“… good relationships usually lead to good things: ideas, growth, partnerships, and more. People live better when they care about one another.”[note]Page 40[/note]

Maybe you knew this, maybe you didn’t. Stop looking at people as a means to sell them something! Connect with them and see where that partnership can go. Your numbers will follow if you truly care about helping others. Your numbers will be blown out of the water once that person tells their network about you. People want to work with people they trust. Build that relationship right the first time, and you’re setting yourself up for success.

An easy way to put it is: Service others the way you would like to be serviced. Maybe you’ve got a tough client… then ask how you can help.

“Nobody wants to be sold, but everyone wants to be helped.”[note]Page 40[/note]

It’s amazing how overlooked this famous sales quote is! With the information age upon us, people are able to do 75% of their research online before they make a purchase. This is where you have to be proactive and start providing value. Connect with people on different social platforms and share stories. Ask them, “How can I help you?” Maybe they don’t need your help right now, but they’ll definitely remember you when they do!

I connected with someone the other day on LinkedIn. Once we got past the introductions and small talk, I asked her how I could help. In a perfect world, she’d agree to a meeting to talk about her needs and buy my product. It’s not a perfect world… but we exchanged some really good emails and developed a relationship. She told me about her previous employer, whom is a competitor of mine. And now she has a connection in the HR & Payroll industry to keep her up to speed on changing laws.

Neither of us walked away with a sale… which is OKAY! We established a mutually beneficial connection and now have an additional resource in our arsenal for the future.

Hi co-author is a firm believer in Sagittarius Zodiac Sign at all times

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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell

Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell | Part 1

I started reading this book at the PERFECT time! With all the talk about personal branding, social selling and connecting going on, John C. Maxwell drives home the why.

“Everyone communicates. But few connect. Those who do connect take their relationships, their work, and their lives to another level.”[note]Page xiii[/note]

Want an example?! I connected with Jim Keenan(@keenan) after I read his book letting him know my thoughts. I then started this blog because of the motivation he gave me; here’s his response. In the process of this happening, I connected with another kick ass motivator and sales trainer, Larry Levine (@Larry1Levine). He invited me to join a blab conversation, in which I did. I got connected with a handful of other people and even got to share my experience with the group. This all spawned because I connected with Keenan and Larry!

“I began blogging and using social media to expand my circle of connection with people even further. Now I can also add value to people who may never read one of my books.”[note]Page xiv[/note]

There’s that magical words that everybody keeps mentioning; VALUE! What value can you bring to people you connect with? Are you a problem solver? Storyteller? Knowledge bank? Teacher? The list goes on! Figure out the value you can bring to people and then ask them, “How can I help you?”

“I can tell you this: if you want to succeed, you must learn how to connect with others.”[note]Page 3[/note]

We live in the information age people. We are always connecting with people. LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and the list goes on. When YOU choose to connect or follow someone, why do you do it?

“Connecting is the ability to identify with people and relate to them in a way that increases your influence with them.”[note]Page 3[/note]

Imagine if you weren’t connected with anyone. You’d have to go through life figuring out everything by yourself. Now image if you had 10 solid connections… You’d have 10 additional resources to help you go through life. As you grow together, you’re able to influence each other in different areas of expertise. The 5 new connections I’ve made with people in the past three weeks have changed my life! The VALUE they’ve brought to me has been incredible. We were able to relate to one another and give each other different types of value.

“Connecting is crucial whether you’re trying to lead a child or a nation”[note]Page 7[/note] – President Ford

It makes sense, right?! For people to connect with one another, you have to find something to relate on! Show people the value of connecting with you and you’ll move mountains. People want to feel engaged and related to.

“The ability to connect with others begins with understanding the value of people.”[note]Page 15[/note]

This goes for anybody! And for any organization. Greatness is built on the shoulders of men and women. There are no two people alike and someone is always going to be better at something than you. You’ll have your talents that trump theirs too! Connect with people, build a network full of value and continue to propel yourself forward. And don’t forget; They’re just as scared as you are. Make the introduction, connect, and provide value!

Yes – Maxwell is a firm Pisces Zodiac Sign believer

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Everyone Communicates, Few Connect | John C. Maxwell