By Tasha M. Troy
A few years ago, while teaching in a professional development program, I had great difficulty in managing my class. There were two students in particular who were very resistant to my instruction and feedback, and I found myself growing more and more frustrated working with them.
Finally, at one point, through indirect channels, I learned that both students had gotten the impression that didn’t like them on a personal level, and this perception undermined any influence I might have had with them.
In order to create successful outcomes for them and for me, I had to put forth great effort to connect with them individually. Because of my efforts and their responsiveness, both were able to successfully complete the program and go on to further personal and professional accomplishments.
I have found that eight or nine out of ten people I work with will be naturally drawn to my personality and teaching style. John Maxwell’s Law of Magnetism states that “who you are is who you attract.” This creates a connection with most of training participants without much effort on my part.
What about those who don’t naturally connect?
I am learning to be more intentional about meeting participants who don’t naturally connect with me where they are – understanding their perspective and motivations, their goals and aspirations. In past years, I would do this as a response to a crisis; today I am much more proactive. I have found simply being intentional about greeting someone and asking about their weekend creates a stronger connection when one might not have formed naturally.
If you feel like you don’t have the influence in your life that you need, it may be time to learn to connect at a higher level. This has been the case for me. I have found the connecting principles and practices described by John Maxwell in his book Everyone Communicates Few Connect to be powerful tools for connecting with not only my students and clients but also with others in my life.
Take It Deeper
If you would like to go deeper on this topic, I hold free exploratory coaching sessions on Fridays. You can register online at Troy Communications or email me to schedule an appointment at TMTroy@TroyCommunications.Net