I’ve discovered the secret to success – connection and communication

Personal Development for Career Professionals

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to lead a charmed life? Success in everything they do seems to come to them with little or no effort. It’s almost as if everything they touch turns to gold, and their communication with others is effortless.

I’ve certainly wondered why this happens to some people and not to others, especially me. However, I think I’ve just discovered the secret to their success. It’s the way they connect with others in their communication.

In his book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”, John C Maxwell says that people who seem to live a charmed life are usually those who have learned to connect with others. He goes on to say:

“When you connect with others, you position yourself to make the most of your skills and talents. When you don’t connect, you have a lot to overcome just to get to average, a neutral starting position.”

When I read this, I stopped to think about some of the successful people in my life – my cousin, who gets any job she applies for in any country; my school friend who, with no tertiary education, has never been without a well-paying job; and my business colleague who is so successful in her business that she can afford to live her life between 2 countries, despite only being in her 20’s. I thought about these people, and realised that the one thing they have in common is their extraordinary ability to connect with others.

John C Maxwell says that one way to connect with others is to make everything about them. Thinking back to the people I mentioned above, they all do this. They genuinely care for people, and always make the conversation about the person they’re talking to rather than about themselves. When I’m with any of them I always feel specially cared for, and that I’m the centre of their attention.

I’ve always felt that I’ve had to struggle for my successes in life. I rarely got promoted during my Government career, particularly when I was competing against people with equal qualifications. Also, I’m not someone who has ever been good at making, and keeping, friends.

I’ve come to realise that this is because I’m not particularly good at connecting with people. I can certainly talk, but I’m ashamed to say that I’m usually the topic of the conversation, or the conversation is about something that interests me. This has probably stemmed from being an only child, and having a disability. as a child, I’ was usually the centre of everyone else’s attention, and I don’t think I’ve ever really grown out of taking this for granted.

Recently, I attended a book launch and decided, as an experiment, to make every conversation I had focus entirely on the person I was talking to. I decided not to volunteer any information about myself unless I was asked, and to make a particular effort to find out as much as I could about each person I met. It was quite hard work, but ended up being a lot of fun! I met a number of really interesting people, and really enjoyed finding out all about them. This is something I’m definitely going to do a lot more of in my communication with others in the future. My aim is to become like the 3 people mentioned earlier in this post, and become a great connector.

Has anyone ever really connected with you? how did that make you feel? Please let me know in the comments section, or if you prefer, contact me directly.

Don’t make the mistake of trying to accomplish your life’s dream alone

Personal Development for Career Professionals

In my last few posts, I’ve been covering the questions you need to ask about your dream to see if it is worth following. My question for this post is, have you included the people you need to realise your dream?

“It marks a big step in your development when you come to realise that other people can help you do a better job than you can do alone” – Andrew Carnegie

“A dream is a compelling vision you see in your heart that’s too big to accomplish without the help of others” – Chris Hodges.

I think that, one of the hardest things for some people to do is ask for help in achieving their dreams. It’s certainly the case with me.

When I started my first business, I was surrounded by a wonderful community of people who were very ready and willing to help me. But I rarely called on them, and only asked for help when I was really stuck. For some reason, I felt that I had to build my business all by myself.

When I started my current business, there were a number of things that I had to do which I found difficult, including dealing with the visual side of social media, and building a website. Being totally blind, pictures pose quite a challenge for me. I’d waste hours trying to get a picture the right size for a particular purpose, such as for use in a twitter or Facebook header, and then find out that I’d posted it sideways or upside-down!

I decided I needed some coaching on this with a good friend and mentor. She helped me realise that there was no shame in asking for help, particularly in an area in which I didn’t have the skill required for the task. After some discussion, I realised that many people, both blind and sighted, call upon others to help them do things that they may not have the skill or the time to do themselves. My friend pointed out that I had no trouble having a cleaner clean my house, as I’m not good at it, and it takes me a long time. So what was the difference in asking someone to help me with the visual side of my website, or resize pictures for posting on twitter?

This invaluable coaching session has now saved me much wasted time, which is much better used on doing things that I am good at in my business. I still occasionally fall into the trap of wanting to do picture-related things by myself, as the problem solving part of my brain kicks in and says “surely, there must be a way”. However, I’m only wasting minutes now, instead of hours, before I realise that I need to ask for help.

I am blessed to have wonderful friends and mentors who are willing to help me in achieving my dream, and am so grateful that I was open to learning the lesson of asking for help. Who do you need to include in realising your dream? Please let me know in the comments section, or if you prefer, please contact me directly.

I will be running a mastermind on “Put Your Dream To the Test” at the end of August. Participants will have the chance to exchange thoughts and ideas, learn from each other’s experiences, and put their dreams to the test.

If you are interested in participating in this mastermind, or would like more information, please contact me. Places are limited, and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, so please act now to avoid disappointment.

Can You See Your Dream Clearly?

Moving from Corporate to Business

In recent posts, I’ve been covering questions that you can aske to see whether a dream is worth pursuing. This post will cover the clarity question i.e. do you see your dream clearly?

Mike Hyatt, the president and CEO of Thomas Nelson, Inc., once said:

“What you need is a vision that is so big that it is compelling, not only to others, but to you. If it’s not compelling, you won’t have the motivation to stay the course, and you won’t be able to recruit others to help you. … If you have a clear vision, you will eventually attract the right strategy. If you don’t have a clear vision, no strategy will save you.”

When I first joined the John Maxwell team, I didn’t have a clear vision. It was very broad. I knew I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives through coaching, training and speaking, but that was all I knew.

It wasn’t until some time later that I got a clear vision of what I wanted to do. I was thinking back to when I was going through the redundancy process, and how lost i felt. I didn’t know what to do first, or who to turn to for advice. I also felt unwanted and devalued.

As I was thinking about this, I realised what I wanted to do. I wanted to help people who were going through a similar situation to the one I had gone through. I also wanted to help people who had decided that they wanted to change their job, but weren’t sure what to do next.

As my thoughts became clear, I got this feeling in the pit of my stomach. It was a mixture of excitement and expectation, and I wanted to run out and tell someone that I knew what I wanted to do!

While I didn’t immediately have a complete start to finish strategy, I knew what I had to start with. I had to find the people who I wanted to help, and let them know what I could do for them.

Every time I took a new step towards my dream, the next step would become clear to me. I also found that I was able to more clearly articulate what I wanted to do to my friends, family and colleagues, who gave me a much more positive response than when I told them that I “wanted to make a difference”.

Can you see your dream clearly? Please let me know in the comments section, or if you prefer, please contact me directly.

I will be running a mastermind on “Put Your Dream To the Test” at the end of August. Participants will have the chance to exchange thoughts and ideas, learn from each other’s experiences, and put their dreams to the test.

If you are interested in participating in this mastermind, or would like more information, please contact me. Places are limited, and will be filled on a first come, first serve basis, so please act now to avoid disappointment.