View Others as Bridges, not Steps

José Manuel Pujol Hernández (Venezuelan leadership guru) said, “If we view people as steps then we will use them to raise ourselves up. But if we view them as bridges, then we’ll connect with them.”

Life is about people. Look at all the things in your life that involve people: your job, great memories, athletic teams, prayers, and raising a family. Connecting with others will allow you to reach your full potential.

In his book, Everyone Communicates Few Connect, John Maxwell says in order to be successful you must learn to work with others; which requires connection. “If you want to connect with others but are hoping you can do so without being intentional, forget about it. Connecting always requires energy.”

Here are some things Maxwell recommends if you want to start connecting with people:

  • Remember people’s names. “But Adam, I’m bad at remembering names.” Of course you are! Stop telling yourself you’re bad at it and you’ll instantly be better. Try.
  • Introduce friends with incredible enthusiasm.
  • Give. Everyone connects with a giver. Think about when you needed help, who was the first person who helped you? You’ll remember them for a while because you connected with them. Being a giver takes energy. In the words of the late Jim Rohn, “If it was easy, everyone would do it.”
  • Show interest in others, maintain eye contact, ask questions and then respond to those questions, actively listen, avoid texting in the middle of their sentence, and extend a firm handshake (Napoleon Hill said your hand should not feel like a cold piece of ham.)

Sam Walton, the founder of Walmart created his 10 Foot Rule: 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.

Andre Agassi, in his fantastic autobiography, Open, described his new coach, Brad Gilbert, this way: “I like the way this feels. I respond to Brad’s ideas, his enthusiasm, his energy…the beginning of a beautiful friendship. A vital new member of the team.” Does it sound like Andre connected with Brad?

Dan Reiland wrote this great description on giving:  “The giver teaches out of love, grace, gratitude, compassion, passion, and the overflow. The audience doesn’t have to give anything- only receive.” Get to a time that when you are communicating with a person, that person only needs to focus on receiving from you. Then you are truly connecting with that person.


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