Friday, May 20, 2016

How to connect with People by John C Maxwell

How to connect with people. I just wrote a book. It came out about 3 weeks ago. It's entitled, "Everybody Communicates, Few connects." It's very true. Isn't it? Everybody talks. Have you ever seen people when they talked nobody was home? Have there been a time when you listen to somebody, and you want to raise your hand? Then tell them it's okay. They can quit. You all are too young for this. But when I was a kid, they had a TV program called the GONG show. And the GONG show would simply when you talked and nobody want to hear anymore, they just a big mallet and just gonged you. I said dear god we need a gong in every church. In fact, when I did the book, Everybody Communicates, Few Connects, I put it on my blog last September. And release a chapter each week. Then take it off, and put the next chapter on for the next 10 weeks. Over thousands of people read the book with me on the blog. I ask them to come back and talk to me. I said, "As you read the book, tell me, give me a good story. Give me a better quote. Help me. Help me improve the book." And they started to improve the book, literally by the hundreds and then by the thousands. We literally changed 7 things in each chapter. We rewrote the book. And then I discovered. None of us is smarter than all of us. And some of my best thinking has been done by others. I told them that I give them credit. I literally put their pictures on the cover of the book. Put their name on the inside, the pictures on the inside. I told hundreds of people that I will give them credit. I didn't tell them I give them royalty.

Jesus was the great connector. If anybody ought to know how to connect, it gotta be his children. Yet to be honest with you. I find some of them not even close, not even close. Let me define connecting. Connecting is the ability to relate to and identify with people in such a way that it increases your influence with them -- the ability to identify with and relate to people in such a way that it increases your influence with them. When we do it right, influences increases. What did Jesus say? He wanted to be soft. He wanted us to be light. He wanted us to connect in such a way that fulfill the Great Commission that everywhere we went -- we can draw people under him.

I want to give you three simple connecting thoughts tonight. These thoughts are going to be applied to your spiritual life. It could be applied to your business life. These thoughts can be applied to your family life. Thought number 1 about connecting -- very simple -- connecting is all about others. That's the grand foundation and principle about connecting. It's not about you. It's not about me. It's all about others. I was in my 20s in Dayton, Ohio. And I didn't understand this. I was a pasture, and I thought connecting, as a leader, was getting everybody to buy into my vision, to get others to get to the things I love -- the principle that I held that was true. I was constantly working hard on getting people to buy into me and to buy into everything around it. I was constantly, "Come on. Come on to the team. Here. Here. Come and join us. Here where's we going. Let's get on the train." When I was in my 20s in Dayton, Ohio, I heard a man say, "If you want to help people, first get what they want. Then they will help you get anything you want." It literally changed my life. It was a eureka moment for me because at that time I realized that I was approaching, connecting the wrong way. I was trying to come where I was and connect with me. And so many times I see leaders, basically leaders who are up on the mountain and looking down at people, "Hey folks, hey folks, come on up. Come on up. I am up here. Come on. Let's go." You've heard the expression. It's lonely at the top. A leader never said that. You are on top alone and nobody is following you. If you are on top all alone, you are not a leader. You are a hiker. And in my early years, I tried to get people to come to the top. I try to get people to join the team. I try to get people to get on the train. And I didn't understand that I have to get off the top. I have to go find the people. I gotta go where they are. And when I find where they are. They hey, guess what? I can help them go to the top together. That's why leader never cross the finish line first. People who cross the finish line first are running alone. You see. Leaders never cross the finish line first because when they come across, they bring people with them. Connecting is all about others.

Now, I look back at my early ministry. I know why I didn't understand that. I was immature. I was immature. Immature people don't think of others first do they. They immature because they think of themselves first. That what makes them immature. I know you are saying, "Let them get a little older. Then they grow up." Not necessarily. Maturity does not always in company with age. Many times age comes alone.

I share with you. I have 5 grand-daughters. We live in Atlanta. Our two oldest granddaughters, at that time, Hannah and Maddie, were 5. At that time, Maddie and here family lived on the west coast California. We were in Atlanta, so the cousins did not see each other alot. When the cousins got together, they always stayed at our house. Every morning, every morning, when Hannah and maddie, these cousins, 5 year old cousins, they come down to the living room. In the morning, they call me papa. That's my name. They call me papa. The called Margaret, Mimi. In fact before the first grandchild was born, I want them to call me mimi. I say I like that, but I don't want them to call me pee pee. So they call me papa. Every morning they have a list for me. You see. Hannah and Maddie thought God created Papa to server them. Oh yeah, they are five. And they come down and say, "We want to do this and this." They would give me the list. I just hang with them. Whatever they said, I think it's my responsibility to spoil the grandchildren. After all, that is what grandparents are for. So we had our list, and we go towards our day. I promise you. We live on the golf course, so they wanted to get on the golf cart. And they wanted to ride around the golf course. And John, he was two, followed along. He was allowed to because of Hannah and Maddie. John was named after me, so he gets the inheritance. We get on the golf cart. Before we get on the golf cart, Hannah and Maddie would say, "Papa we are hungry. We need snack. Which means the first thing we go is between the 9th and 10th hole. We all go and sat down. We all ordered the same thing -- Hot-dog with Ketchup, potato chips, candy bar, ice cream, diet soda. I know what you are thinking. You are saying, "That's not a very healthy diet." I know that. I don't care. I'm a grandparent. Trust me I fed my kids healthy stuff. It doesn't help. It doesn't help. There was only one rule, and that is they couldn't tell. They couldn't tell the parents because parents are paranoid with such things. So that was our secret during dinner time. When they were not hungry, the parents could not figure it out. Hannah and Maddie looked at me with a wink and a thumbs up. Now they are 5 years old. Everyday they had a agenda for me. It's all about them. Not one time. Not one time. They come down and said, "Papa, we've been thinking. You have done so much for us. What could we do for you?"

You see. It doesn't enter the 5 year old mind that they should do something for someone else. It's ok when you are 5. It's sad when you are 35, and 45, and 55 when you have not figure it out. It's not about you. The first very simple principle of connecting is all about others. Leaders understand that the day they take up leadership -- they give up the right to think of themselves first. Leaders understand that the day they become leaders -- no longer they live for themselves. If Jesus were here and was talking about leadership, he would tell you that leadership is servant hood. That's what it is. It's not about titles. It's about towels. And only the secure can stoop, only the secure. Insecure people cannot do that. It's all about others.

I followed the founding Pasture in San Diego. Great man has been there for 27 years. Done a terrific work. In fact, he is still alive today. He is 90. He is a precious godly man. The church adored him. He was out a little bit of energy, so I came in. I had the priviledge, trying to serve him and Congregation for the next several years. I have only been there for a few months. I looked at a lady named Sue who husband was named was Harry. I noticed Harry had not been to church for the last couple of weeks. I said Sue I'm missing Harry. Is he okay? She said, "Well, he is ok. He is having a little problem with you. He loves Pasture Butcher. You are new. And he is feeling guilty because... He felt pasture Butcher was everything to him. He just missing him. He is trying to stay away right now. Trying to figure it all out." I said I understand. Is he willing to talk to me." I said, "I know you love Pasture Butcher. Can you tell me about him? Would you please? Tell me all the reasons you love him... I want to listen." For the next 40 minutes, that dear precious man cried as he talked about that Pature Butcher burried his parents. Married his kids. Baptized the family. Talked about the wedding. Talked about the incredible things that the pasture gets to do with people. Now about 40 minutes, he is crying. I am crying. I said, "Harry, I understand. I think I need to share something with you. I give you permission harry to always love Pasture Butcher more than me. To be honest with you, I could never take his place. He should be number 1 in your life. I should not be number one. I should not even be number 2. But I do know this, I should not feel guilty him being your number one. He is your pasture. He was your pasture. Always keep him where he is. Always love him. Just give him all your love. Harry you got me permission. Don't ever feel guilty about it. You should always love him first. Now harry, I do have a request for you. If after you are done loving pasture butcher first, if you have any love left over, maybe just a little bit, it could you just throw it my way." He said, "Are you kidding?" I said, "I not kid at all." One day he puts his arm around me and said, "Guess who?" I said, "It's Harry. It's Harry." He said, "I just want to give you a hug. And tell you that I have just a little love. Just a little love, left over." Can I tell you something. There is nothing worse in this world than an insecure leader who somehow thinks that the world should worship him. Get a life. Understand. It is not about you. Connecting is all about others.

Number 2 -- connecting requires energy. One of the reason that we do not connect as much as we could or should is because there's a tremendous requirement of energy that we have to continually expand to connect. Can I tell you? The only difference between a great dating life and an average marriage is you worked harder when you were dating. Of course you did. Everyday you got up and said, "How can I please her? What can I do for her? What could I buy for her? Is there something I can do that add value to her? Everyday you got up, it was all about the other person. The day you get married, you said, "Oh my god. How are you going to meet my needs?"

Number 3 -- Connectors find common grounds. They understand they have to find common grounds. The great connectors find common grounds, and lift them to higher grounds.  Once we connect them to common ground, then we bring them to higher ground.


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