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Monday, September 23, 2013


The following comes from "Everyone Communicates, Few Connect" by John Maxwell.  It is one of the best books I've read that focuses solely on improving our communication -- and as the title suggests -- connecting with our target audience.  For the coach, this means improved teaching to our players, getting our message across to recruits, making our point to the media, expressing ourselves convincingly to our fans.  The ability to communicate is at the essence of teaching and leading.  Here is what Maxwell says regarding what makes people listen:

If you want to be a better communicator or a better leader, you can’t depend on dumb luck. You must learn to connect with others by making the most of whatever skills and experience you have. When I listen to great communicators, I notice that there are a handful of factors they seem to draw upon that cause people to listen to them.
Relationships—Who You Know
One of the quickest ways to gain credibility with an individual, a group, or an audience is to borrow it from someone who already has credibility with them. It’s the basis of sales referrals and word-of-mouth advertising. “Who” you know can open the door for you to connect with someone. Of course, once the door is open, you still have to deliver!

Insight—What You Know
Most people want to improve their situation in life. When they find someone who can communicate something of value, they will usually listen. If what they learn really helps, a sense of connection between them can often quickly develop.

Success—What You Have Done
America has a success culture. People want to be successful, and they seek out others who have accomplished something to get their advice. If you are successful in anything you do, there will be people who will want to listen to you.

Ability—What You Can Do
Individuals who perform at a high level in their profession often have instant credibility with others. People admire them, they want to be like them, and they feel connected to them. When they speak, others listen—even if the area of their skill has nothing to do with the advice they give.

Sacrifice—How You Have Lived
Mother Teresa had the respect and the ear of leaders around the world. People of all faiths seemed to admire her. Why was that? Why did they listen to her—a poor, diminutive schoolteacher who lived in the slums in India? Because of the life of sacrifice she lived.