Welcome to Episode 031 where we discuss five proactive ways you can use energy to connect with people.
Here’s what is on this week’s Podcast…
Reminder: New podcast sponsor,5 Minute Energy Kickstart.com which is three 5 minute videos that will help you be more productive, feel more energized, and do your best work. The best part is the video series is absolutely free!
It’s Go Time!
Welcome to the Energy Edge Podcast. I’m your host, Bryan Paul Buckley, and with me today is a guest co-host, Mark Slemons.
Mark, why don’t you tell us about your world (business and entrepreneurial endeavors) – 3:31
I’m married to my incredible wife, Ginger, for almost 23 years and we have two boys, Isaiah and Nehemiah who are 21 and 26 years old. Nehemiah is married and his awesome wife, Rachel, became our first daughter!
During the day, I’m the Sales and Marketing Manager for a product called molybdenum. Molybdenum is a steel hardener and corrosion inhibitor that is used most often in the production of stainless steel.
My passion, however, is leadership and truly it holds my attention day and night. So I’m a leadership speaker and consultant based in Salt Lake City, UT. I help mid-to-senior level executives and their teams to improve their leadership skills and maximize their potential. I’m also the host of The Leader to Leader Podcast which showcases how and why authentic leaders transform teams and organizations and change the world.
Both of us are in the people business. And our jobs require us to maximize our time with others to increase our success rate.
There are three words that cause people a number of mixed emotions: CONNECTING WITH OTHERS. – 5:07
Many of our roles or jobs are greatly enhanced and improved if we learn the power of connecting with others.
Some jobs connecting is critical: 5:42
* Sales professionals
Other jobs connecting could be…
* ANY JOB EVER – we think that connecting only matters in selling and marketing efforts, but we forget that even if your role at work isn’t in sales, you are selling yourself to your peers, to your manager, to those you are interacting with, so connecting matters in every role.
This content was inspired and derived by John C. Maxwell in his book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.
It doesn’t matter with whom or within what context you’re trying to connect. It’s always the same: you need to bring ENERGY to do it effectively.
And to make the most of connecting opportunities, you must channel that energy strategically.
Disclaimer: you don’t have to be a high-energy person or be an extrovert.
And if you are an introvert, there is hope, so don’t tune out. We are going to give you some easy ways to connect with people even if it doesn’t feel natural!
You DO need to be willing to use whatever energy you have to focus on others and reach out to them. It’s a matter of choice.
Five Proactive Ways to Use Energy for Connecting – 8:32
1. Connecting Requires Initiative…. Go First – 8:39
Walmart has a Ten Foot Rule that Sam Walton created. It says:
“From this day forward, I solemnly promise and declare that every time a customer comes within ten feet of me, I will smile, look him in the eye, and greet him.”
John Maxwell said, “I think most people recognize the value of initiative is important in relationships yet many still don’t take it with others. When it comes to interacting with others, they often wait for the OTHER person to take the first step. But all that leads to is missed opportunities.”
“If you wait until you can do everything for everybody, instead of something for somebody, you’ll end up doing anything for anybody.” – Malcolm Bane
A Jewish proverb says, “The wise does at once what the fool does at last.”
Misnomer: there is no PERFECT moment
You actually create the perfect moment. Each time you make a connection is like putting one more piece of the puzzle together. Each piece matters.
2. Connecting Requires Clarity… Prepare – 14:02
While connecting requires being willing to initiate with others, which often means taking action in the moment, it also requires that we know what we’re doing when we make contact.
That means having clarity of thought, and clarity most often comes as a result of preparation in three main areas:
1. Know Yourself – Personal Preparation – 14:39
To add value to others, you must make yourselves more valuable.
2. Know Your Audience – People Preparation – 15:19
The more you understand people in general, the better you’ll be able to connect.
Book Recommendation: CLICK by Ori Brafman
John Maxwell uses the journalist approach doing a story when he prepares to understand his audience for a talk:
* Who are they?
* What do they care about?
* Where do they come from?
* When did they decide to attend?
* Why are they here?
* What do I have that I can offer them?
* How do they want to feel when we conclude?
He goes on to say, “anytime I want to connect with people, I expect to expend energy preparing beforehand.”
I remember listening to John in the 90s on cassette tapes and I can still remember this particular moment almost like it was yesterday, I was in Casper, WY and he was talking about how he would ask key leaders if they would take time to have lunch with him. I remember him talking about these questions 25 years ago. But what I remember just as much as the questions, was his requirement that he invest in learning about the person before he showed up to the lunch. He would spend hours preparing for a one hour lunch and it always paid off.
If you’re going to cast vision to a team, you need to know your audience and prepare which requires energy.
If you’re going to give a presentation, even if it’s one you’ve given over and over, you need to know your audience and prepare which requires energy.
It’s easy to “wing it” but the people preparation and questions will yield so much greater connection results
One thing you don’t hear so much about is how to bring energy to your presentation. Recently, I heard that some speakers will jump on a mini-tramp for a couple minutes prior to speaking. Tony Robbins and others have detailed routines for building their energy before an event. Like an athlete, the routine can become sacred because it produces results. The right amount of rest, the right meal, the mental state – they all matter to the speaker. But don’t forget the audience. Building their energy is important do.
3. Know Your Stuff – Professional Preparation – 20:24
Being yourself and understanding people will take you far in connecting with others. However, in situations where you must speak, teach, or lead, you must also be prepared professionally.
I know many folks who spend 10 minutes of preparation for each minute of speaking as their “rule of thumb.” Personally, I try to prepare 10-30 minutes for each minute of speaking and it works.
3. Connecting Requires Patience… Slow Down – 22:02
A young woman who was not accustomed to driving a manual transmission stalled a car when a traffic light turned green. Each time she started the car, she nervously let the clutch out too fast and stalled it again.
The car behind her could’ve gone around but instead the driver just laid on his horn. The more he honked, the more embarrassed and angry she became.
After another attempt to get the car going, she got out and walked back to the other car. The man rolled down his window in surprise.
“Tell you what”, she said, “You go move my car and I’ll sit back here and honk the horn for you.”
Our culture is impatient and a drive thru, order ahead culture.
I heard someone once say, “The good news is I move fast; the bad news is I often move alone.”
Everybody is in a hurry which often prevents us from connecting with others effectively.
The Point: if you want to connect with people, you need to slow down. And THAT requires energy!
It’s hard to slow down. If someone is a challenge to connect with in general, slowing down is a big challenge.
But SO necessary in order to truly connect. I know I struggle with this specific one almost more than any other of the five.
It seems particularly relevant here to remember the saying “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Taking time and energy to connect will always pay off, but pacing is critical.
4. Connecting Requires Selflessness… Give – 27:12
In life, there are Givers and Takers. And rarely is there ANY mistake on who is a Giver and who is a Taker.
We avoid Takers and we’re attracted to Givers. We make it a point to greet a Giver and we feel more connected to a Giver.
Being a Giver requires Energy.
Being a Giver is usually a Win – Win. It energizes you while it helps others. And it helps you connect.
The Giver wants to invest into people when the Taker is there only for themselves which is often obvious to others except the Taker.
The irony about giving is that it returns to the giver – this is not true for the taker. If you haven’t read Bob Burg’s Go-Giver, I highly recommend it. Here’s the thing though: you have to have resources from which to give. It’s a tired cliche, but having taken care of yourself first actually enables you take care of others. When life throws us a curveball, we have to be gracious receivers of others kindness. There are those moments when we can’t do for ourselves and pride will stop us from experiencing the kind, caring, and compassionate actions of others.
5. Connecting Requires Stamina… Recharge – 30:25
Connecting with people can be very draining and exhausting especially if you’re truly investing into others.
Listening to people can actually be draining especially if it’s meeting someone new.
The key is finding your Energy Leaks…
For example, when I’m speaking or training, I need to find times away to recharge. I’ll carve out 15 – 30 minutes to go for a walk, have quiet, or just put my Bose noise canceling headphones on and just read.
It’s amazing what this “INTENTIONAL” recharge will do for me to go back at it.
Understanding how you recharge is key and focusing in on it.
Episode 022 by Dr. Ann Vertel is a perfect episode referencing this point.
John C. Maxwell quote: “If you carve out moments to do what energizes you, then you will always have reserves of energy you can draw upon when you want to connect with others.”
Business trainer Clancy Cross observed, “People often confuse energy with volume or speed. An accomplished musician knows that is requires more energy to sing or play slowly and softly (and connect with the audience) then it does to reach and blast away. Even the way we sit with people and listen to them requires energy. They will detect when we do so without it. You can’t fake energy and you can’t fake a connection.”
There’s nothing I want more than for my connections than for those relationships to be authentic.
Additional Thoughts: 35:15
Good connectors have high emotional intelligence.
They read the room.
They seek to find common ground.
They ask good questions.
They realize connecting is often draining and look for times and ways to refuel to “go back at it” when needing to “be on”
5 Minute Energy Kickstart Promo Spot – 36:53
What Nows: – 38:23
1) be more intentional about using John’s seven questions to make sure I’m thinking about
the needs of the person I’m with – remembering I’m there to serve
2) thinking through the practical ways I can build my energy levels for engaging with others
More About Mark Slemons, our guest co-host today:
Next Episode Preview – 40:36
Please Give a Rate & Review by Clicking HERE
Audio Editing and Production by Caleb Suwanski