As a reader, make the first move to connect

Posted by: KSG-admin Post Date: July 25, 2020

As a reader, make the first move to connect

It is common knowledge that reading is important, yet the ability to explain why could be harder than we think. Those who have dared to find out why have come across such reasons as reading develops thoughts, gives endless knowledge, and lessons while keeping minds active. Indeed, reading exposes people to new words which enables them develop deeper understanding of their language and how to use it. To keep the audience smarter, the Bulletin Writer, SAMWEL KUMBA, runs this series of book review and encourages readers to read and enhance knowledge, expand their vocabulary, and deepen their thinking. Therefore, read a good book today starting with this: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership.

Some leaders believe that connecting is the responsibility of followers. That is especially true of positional leaders who often think, they are the boss. In any case, they have the position. According to them, audiences are their subjects and so they should come to the leader.

Such leaders have difficulties with the Law of Connection which successful leaders obey and are always initiators of. Leaders are advised to take the first step to connect and make the effort to continue building relationships. It is not always easy, but important to the success of an organization.

In Chapter ten, the writer reckons incidents in the lives and careers of leaders that became defining moments for their leadership. In the perception of followers, the general public, and historians, such moments often represent who those leaders are and what they stand for. The moments captured by the writer illustrate that successful leaders connect emotionally with the people.

The Author of The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership opines that leaders should appreciate that while working with people, the heart comes before the head. This is true whether one is communicating to a stadium full of people, leading a team meeting, or trying to relate to their spouse. This American speaker and pastor challenges readers to think about their reaction to people.

Readers are tasked to figure out what they would want to hear when they listen to a speaker or teacher; is it a bunch of dry statistics or a load of facts, or a speaker who engages them on a human level—maybe with a story or joke.

Maxwell is categorical that a leader cannot move people to action unless one first moves them with feeling, asserting that the heart comes before the head. That, he explains, is because for leaders to be effective, they need a bond with people. All great leaders and communicators recognize this truth and act on it almost instinctively.

The stronger the relationship one forms with followers, the greater the connection the leader forges—and the more likely those followers will want to help the leader.

Correspondingly, the stronger the relationship and connection between individuals, the more likely the followers will want to support the leader. He shares the example of a leader who connected with both audiences and individuals as former President of the United States of America, Ronald Reagan, whose ability to develop rapport with an audience is reflected in his nickname: the Great Communicator.

Indeed Peggy Noonan, Reagan’s former speechwriter, said that when the former President returned to the White House from long trips and the staff heard his helicopter landing on the lawn, everyone would stop working, and staff member Donna Elliott would say, ‘Daddy’s home!’ They could not wait to see him.

Unfortunately, some employees dread it when their boss shows up. A common question a reader may ask is: how in the world does one speak to a large crowd of people and connect with them. To Maxwell, the trick is simple: Do not try to talk to the thousands, focus on one person. The same strategy should be used when writing a book. Always think of the reader and not the millions of people who will read the book.

The writer, in a nutshell, says that to connect with people in a group, one needs to relate to them as individuals. He shares guidelines for those determined to learn from his experience:

Connect with yourself: Know who you are and have self-confidence. People do not heed to the call of an uncertain trumpet. If you do not believe yourself and where you want to lead, work on that before doing anything else.

Openness and sincerity: People can smell a deceptive idea a mile away. As legendary NFL coach Bill Walsh observed, ‘nothing is more effective than sincere, accurate praise, and nothing is lamer than a cookie-cutter compliment.’ Authentic leaders connect.

Know your audience: Learn people’s names, their histories, and ask about their dreams. In communicating to an audience, you have to learn about the organization and its goals so as to speak to what they care about, not just what you care about.

Live your message: Practice what you preach to be credible. People who say one thing to an audience and do something else do not last. Go where they are: Speak the other person’s language, be attuned to their culture, background, education, and adapt to it instead of expecting them to adapt to you. If possible avoid speaking from a stage or sitting across them so as to break any physical barriers between you.

Focus on them, not you: The problem of inexperienced speakers and ineffective leaders is the failure to focus on others.

Believe in them: Communicate to people not because you believe you have something of value to say but that you believe they have value.

Offer direction and hope: People expect leaders to help them get where they want to go and good leaders go beyond this call. The more reason French General Napoleon Bonaparte said, ‘Leaders are dealers in hope.