© COPYRIGHT 2018 Boyd A. Hamlin All Rights Reserved.
“You can connect with people and lead them only if you value them.” –John Maxwell
It all comes down to connecting with others. You either do or you don’t. I’m a simple guy, so one way I look at this is 1) communication is telling someone how you want something done where 2) connecting is investing in others and inviting them to share the journey with you.
When I think of connecting with others I can’t help but think of Zig Ziglar’s words of advice, “Help enough people get what they want and they will help you get what you want”. And, in order to do that you have to connect. If we are going to identify with people and connect with them, we must value them.
Value Others: For fifty years, John Maxwell has lived by the advice his father gave him. His advice was to every day “intentionally value people, believe in people, and unconditionally love them.” Valuing others is never about showing others how great you think you are. It’s always about showing others how great you think they are or how great they have the potential of becoming. Valuing others is humbling yourself and connecting with them on common ground so that you can inspire them to go to higher ground.
Being respectful of where others are and helping them get where they want to be is a process. “Even when you find common ground, you can face obstacles in the communication process. If you detect that people you’re trying to connect with are tentative about your approaching them, then try to meet them on emotional common ground. An excellent way to do that is to use something called feel, felt, found to help them relate to you. First, try to sense what they feel, and acknowledge and validate the feelings. If you’ve had similar feelings in the past, then share with them about how you’ve also felt the same way before. Finally, share with them what you’ve found that has helped you work through the feelings”. (“Becoming A Person Of Influence” by John Maxwell and Jim Dornan, page 166).
When we value others, meet them on common ground, we become a reliable guide that others are more willing to journey with. There is a responsibility of bringing out the best in others once we’ve done the hard work of connecting. It opens the door to adding value through words of encouragement, acts of kindness and gifts of generosity at whatever level available to us to resource them towards the best version of themselves they can be. So, in order to connect with others, you must want more for them than you do for yourself. One last thought that will help us in valuing others is to keep making yourself more valuable so that you have more value to give. When you daily make yourself better, what you give others will always be better than yesterday’s best.
Let’s go back to the beginning and revisit the advice that John Maxwell’s father gave him. These questions can help us know if we are connecting well with others.
1. Do I intentionally value people every day?
2. Do I let people know I believe in them every day?
3. Do I consistently and unconditionally love them every day?