Five Key Principles of Successful Connection

a skeleton key on top of a scrap of paper that says "COMMUNICATION"

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“Any message you try to convey must contain a piece of you. You can’t just deliver words. You can’t merely convey information. You need to be more than just a messenger. You must be the message you want to deliver. Otherwise, you won’t have credibility and you won’t connect.”

John Maxwell

The first key principle is the spoken word.  I‘ve heard many people say that they’re an introvert and don’t like to talk much. While that may be true, if you want to get ahead and be influential as a leader, you will have to communicate with others. You don’t need to be a great communicator to be influential—just sincere and genuine. In fact, some of the most influential people are not good speakers, but they show that they really care.

The second key principle is giving your point of view. You have to believe what you are saying is important to be said. If you believe it, then others will also believe it. But you have to know what that is. Ask yourself, “What is it that I am saying and why am I saying it?” I had a professor who would always ask, “So what?” Only we can answer that question.

The third key principle is how you deliver your message. Communication goes beyond mere words. By this I mean your physical demeanor. This ranges from paying attention while communicating and eliminating distractions to wearing appropriate clothing and being well groomed. This may seem simple, but so many people, unintentionally, let these issues get in the way of their connection with others. Even your facial expressions matter.

The fourth key principle is to be authentic and have integrity. Don’t just say things because you want to appear in a certain likeness. People can often read though that and see when you are not being real. To make sincere connections, you have to be trustworthy because it not just what you say but it’s how you say it. If you speak with passion and energy, people will remember it.

The fifth key principle is to always find a connection with others. This is more of a learned skill and comes from your ability to find a way to connect with the subject. You don’t have to be a genius or have experience but just find common ground.

a cartoon of a green face talking to a blue face

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Experiment and Practice:

A good idea is to videotape yourself having a conversation and play it back to see how you perform. It may seem strange but it can help to see how others see you.

Also it is important to observe others. Who do you feel has good communication skills and what do they do? Try to identify some of the things that they do and then try doing those things yourself.

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