After a recent speaking engagement, I notice a young lady waiting patiently. After speaking with several individuals, I walked over to greet her. She smiled and thanked me for a very informative presentation.
As she spoke, I sensed she had more to say so I asked “how can I help you?” She smiled and took a deep breath before continuing.
I could tell by her tone that she was very concerned. She had recently been promoted to team leader of her group. While she was very excited by the opportunity to lead, she was struggling to connect with the team in her new role.
As I listened to her share her challenges, two questions came to my mind. First, I asked her how she was sharing information with her team? Digitally she proclaimed with a smile. To increase efficiency, the team mainly used text messages and email to communicate.
My second question dealt with the demographics of her team. I asked her how old were the team members. She explained most of the team was older than she was and they were not fans of texting. It was obvious she was struggling with a communication gap. She was not connecting with her audience.
Why is it important for millennial leaders to connect with their audience? Your ability to connect with others will determine your level of success. In today’s digital world, it is very easy to get tempted to use and solely rely on electronic means of communication. Regardless of their effectiveness, they can never take the place of face to face communication. When we connect with others we gain influence.
In his book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently, John Maxwell offers practical principles and practices to ensure your communication success. According to Maxwell, “connecting is purely and simply built on your ability to identify with people and relate to them.
Connecting is all about others. Effective communicators focus on others and their needs. How do you connect with audience? Find common ground! Maxwell said “you can connect with others if you’re willing to get off your own agenda, to think about others, and to try to understand who they are and what they want.”
You need to personally connect with people. This shows that you take your work seriously, and you also care about them. If you manage to use your voice to influence others, then your future leadership career is bright.
So how do you connect with your audience? To become better at connecting, millennial leaders should engage in the following steps:
- Spend more time talking more about other people and less about yourself
- Compliment people on their actions
- Find ways to add value to others
- Always acknowledge and share credit for success with others
To be an effective communicator, you must connect to your audience. Zig Ziglar said, “If you will first help people get what they want, they will help you get what you want.”
Are you communicating in a visible and personal manner?
Dr. Kim Moore, your guide to leading with confidence!
Kim D. Moore
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