In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, John details 5 principles and 5 practices that can be applied almost immediately by anyone that has a need for developing stronger relationships through effective communication. He refers to one of these principles, chapter 5 of this awesome book, by saying that “Connecting is more skill than natural talent.”
I remember reading this book for the first time soon after it was published in 2010. While I had already learned a lot by the time I made it to this chapter, I was even more relieved when I read this statement! Quite honestly, I don’t know that I could point to any “natural talent” that I have. But skills… Skills can be learned and developed. And I have never been afraid of doing whatever work necessary for moving forward. One the first page of this chapter, John says that “connecting is something anyone can learn to do, but one must study communication to improve at it.”
So I’ll ask you: what does that mean to you? Studying communication?
For quite some time, likely because so much of the responsibility I’ve held in the roles I’ve have over the last 15 years included it, studying communication meant watching other folks present all kinds of material to groups of all sizes. This was something I was completely uncomfortable doing in early 2000. I can vividly remember being terrified during a 5 minute presentation for an interview panel consisting of 3 people I worked with at the time. Somehow, I got the job. It got tougher from there. This was a position that involved a fair amount of group presentations and various training sessions. I looked for any opportunity I could find to learn from the people around me. I wish this book had been written 11 years sooner (but that would have also required me being aware enough to look for it).
Studying communication may be completely different for you. Not many folks have to do, or would even consider doing, group presentations on a regular basis. In most cases, studying communication may be simply learning how to hone your skills to be the most effective you can in one on one situations. A good friend of mine is a chiropractor and he’s built a solid foundation for his business by being genuine in the one on one communication he has with his patients.
All said, this is likely a bit different for everyone. The key, at least in my humble opinion, is identifying others that you feel are effective and studying them. Finding the things that you can implement in the situations you deal with on a day to day basis… But there’s one more thing that I’ll touch on briefly: understanding behavioral and personality styles can make this process exponentially more effective. And my personality style loves getting results!
Bye for now,