Communication is Success
Your Network is your Net worth
"The one easy way to become worth 50% more than you are now at least is to hone your communication skills. If you can't communicate, it's like winking at a girl in the dark, nothing happens. You can have all the brainpower in the world, but you have to be able to transmit it." - Warren Buffett
Relationships Build Wealth
"15% of your success is your doing and 85% is because of your relationships"
- John Maxwell
John Maxwell, as well as other notable figures such as Simon Sinek, Jocko Willink, and William McRaven all seem to agree on one thing. Team work is the only way to win in the long run, and teams that only consist of me, myself, and I will always fail. One classic example of this idea is the story of Charles Lindbergh completing the first solo nonstop flight across the Atlantic Ocean. He may have completed the actual flight alone. However, the only reason the flight was possible was because Lindbergh had sponsors funding the flight, a company that made the airplane he used, and somebody else manufactured his clothes and his fuel. In other words, it was a team effort.
I am not trying to belittle the success, bravery, and work that is required by individuals to do great things. However, 1 is too small a number to make a substantial impact by itself. During a visit to the NASA space center in 1962, President John F. Kennedy noticed a janitor carrying a broom. He interrupted his tour, walked over to the man and said, "Hi, I'm Jack Kennedy. What are you doing?" "Well, Mr. President," the janitor responded, "I'm helping put a man on the moon."
If the janitor hadn't been there cleaning up, the stench and filth of the building may very well have prevented America from going to the moon. Even though what the janitor was doing wasn't a particularly difficult or skilled job, it was essential to the success of the astronauts. Relationships matter, and you build them by communicating.
Communicating Effectively to Build Relationships
Seek first to understand, then to be understood." - Stephen Covey
Building relationships is a two way street. As Covey put it, you have to understand and be understood. The most common approach to conversation is to be the one talking. The second most common approach is to act like you are listening to make the other person like you. Effective communication is about listening actively, and then speaking.
One of the pieces of advice Dale Carnegie gives in his book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" is to become genuinely interested in the other person and encourage them to do most of the talking. Remember that 'me' is the most important word to the majority of people.
Similar to personal relationships, brands and companies need to be listening and not just talking. Remember that Sam Walton said the customer is king, and he can fire anybody by spending his money somewhere else. Don't just talk to your customers, listen, understand, and change.
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