Everyone Communicates, Few Connect Blog 1
Do you remember the game Connect 4? The object of the game was to connect your 4 colored checkers in a row before your opponent. And I might add to block your opponents.
Notice in the picture below how much fun they are having? What I remember is that the game was fun for a while, but that I lost interest fast because it usually turned into a blocking game, more than a connecting game. No one really won, no one had any connections and it was simply a stalemate.
Sometimes conversations go like this as well, fun at first, but then interest is lost and no real connection is made.
I don't probably have to tell you how damaging this loss of interest can be to connecting with others in your work, if married with your spouse, or with family and friends!
So, how can we ensure that more of our conversations result in a connection where both parties win? A real "Connect Four"!
This is the first of my short series of blogs on how to really connect in our conversations with others. And before you might be tempted to give me credit, these four principles come from Author, John C. Maxwell in his book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect. They are really good. PS. The Connect Four reference is totally mine.
Checker One: Connecting Is All About Others
Connecting begins when the other person feels valued.
So, how do we make sure a person feels valued while we talk? We know this one... don't we? Yes, less talk from me and more listening. First, we have to learn what the other person values by being a good listener. If you are a talker like me, this doesn't mean we don't talk, but it means we are more interested in listening to them, than what we have to say.
But, sometimes the challenge isn't too much talk, but rather not enough talk; it's too quiet. In either case, a good idea is to "come to the table" with 2-3 good questions (rather than things you want to say). Ask questions to find out what the others value, so instead of "what did you do this weekend?", how about "what did you do this weekend that you really enjoyed?" When you find out what they value, you can share a little about what you value as well. In that way, value is added to both of you.
Have a great week connecting,
Troy Vande Lune
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