I’m going to touch on a principle John shares in chapter four of Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Connecting Always Requires Energy. Throughout the chapter, he makes the case for how critical it is to put the appropriate amount of effort into making a connection with the person or group you’re communicating with. After several stories, John covers some ways of being proactive about the energy we use to do this.
Interestingly enough, he begins this list with “Connecting Requires Initiative… Go First!” That may be as simple as going out of your way to extend your hand and introduce yourself to the new person in the office. But in times of need, being the first to offer that same hand can make a lasting impact. I remember a situation several years ago when a co-worker’s parent passed away. When I let the guy that I worked directly with know, he suggested we immediately send a sandwich tray to our co-worker’s home. I gladly split the tab. At the funeral, that co-worker came to the two of us with an appreciation we had rarely seen! For sending something as simple as some food? I don’t believe the thing that was sent, or what it cost, had anything to do with the impact it made… As I studied this chapter to facilitate a Mastermind Group with a corporate sales team, I realized that being the first to show support in this co-worker’s time of loss was what made the impact. Before I move on, I need to be clear that I could not and did not take credit for initiating that action; I was simply a willing participant… (With my highly Driven personality style, I often miss some of these things that can mean so much to others.)
In explaining this, John shares “Anytime in life that we find ourselves in need of assistance and we get some help, who is it that we remember most? It’s usually the person who helps us first.”
Can you think of times in your own life where this is true? And can you think of times where you’ve been able to be that first one to lend a hand? In both cases, I’d guess there’s a very lasting impression!