Lady Jennie Jerome Churchill, the beautiful American mother of Winston Churchill, dined with two of England’s premier leaders, Benjamin Disraeli and his rival, William Gladstone, in the same week.
A journalist asked, “Lady Churchill what was your first impressions of the two men?”
Lady Jenny Jerome Churchill replied: “When I left the dining room after sitting next to Gladstone, I thought he was the cleverest man in England. But when I sat next to Disraeli I left feeling that I was the cleverest woman.”
Benjamin Disraeli on meeting the beautiful, Lady Jenny Churchill, wanted to know all about her. He asked her questions and listened intently to her replies. Disraeli wanted to connect with her and find common ground. Benjamin Disraeli said, “The greatest good you can do for another is not just share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.”
William Gladstone, on the other hand, talked about how brilliant and important he was to Lady Jenny Churchill. He was not interested in connecting with anyone else.
Which leader would you rather sit next to at dinner Disraeli or Gladstone?
The greatest connectors find common ground and lift others higher just like Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli did for Winston Churchill’s mother Lady Jenny Jerome Churchill.
Michael Deaver was deputy chief of staff for Ronald Reagan for 30 years. Deaver said, “Ronald Reagan was one of the shyest men I’d ever met.” Deaver was asked, “Why Reagan had such rapport with the press corps?” He replied, “Well, Reagan basically liked people, whether they were part of the press corps or whether they were just ordinary people. That comes through.” It was said that President Reagan cared about people and it did not matter whether they were a gardener, a secretary, or someone on his team. He treated them the same. Reagan “enjoyed being with people” and connected with them.
Deaver said, “Everyone liked being around Ronald Reagan because he loved people and connected with them. He understood that relationships were the glue that held his team members together- the more solid the relationship, the more cohesive his team.”
Dan Quiggle said, “Ronald Reagan spoke plainly and genuinely to the American people-from his heart and with genuine sincerity about what he believed was best for America and for the world.”
Benjamin Disraeli and Ronald Reagan understood about the importance of connecting with others. They cared about others, valued them, and wanted to know about them. They asked questions and listened attentively; wanting to find out answers and common ground with the people they connected to. Connecting is important at all levels of your life; with family members, friends, with other employees at work, or at school.
After two weeks of torrential rain and wind my family and I noticed cracks in the ceilings and several damp spots. When the rain finally stopped we called a friend and got a recommendation on a roofer he liked and trusted. We called the roofer and arranged an appointment in his busy schedule to show him the ceiling damage in the house to have our roof repaired.
My husband and I met the Roofer shook hands with him and showed him the ceiling damage in the house. He then asked us the following questions:
1) How old is this roof?
2) How often have you had it checked and repaired?
3) Do you have extra shingles?
We answered the Roofer’s questions. He then went up his ladder on the roof and photographed, with his phone, pictures of what needed to be repaired. He then showed the pictures to us and explained what needed to be done.
The Roofer said, “Your roof is in pretty good shape considering how so many other roofs have faired in this wet stormy weather. We will need to replace all the tiles missing in the pictures and caulk around a few areas on the roof and repair a gable.” He called us a few days later, to tell us how much it would cost. His price seemed reasonable and we agreed to it. He told us what day he would repair it and we left the shingles outside for him to do the repairs.
The Roofer called us after he completed the roof and said, “It will be raining Tuesday or Wednesday. Let me know if we have gotten all the leaks.” This Roofer understood how to connect with others and did the work as promised.
On February 20, 2015, five hundred of us trained with Dr. John Maxwell to be certified to join his John Maxwell Team. One of the most important rules he taught us was his “The 30 Second Rule”. “Within 30 seconds of meeting someone give them the “Triple A Treatment” – your attention, affirmation, and appreciation”.
Two of my favorite books of Dr. Maxwell are “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” and “Relationships 101”.
So what are the three things you can do today to connect with others?
1) Connecting begins when you take an interest in others by asking them questions just like Benjamin Disraeli, Ronald Reagan, and the Roofer did.
2) Listening carefully to their responses, shows that you care and want to know all about them, and how you can help them.
3) As you connect with others you are finding common ground and building a relationship. Look for the best in others by saying positive things to them and lifting others up.
Zig Ziglar says, “Strong people don’t put other people down… they lift them up.”
“People won’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” This famous quote has been attributed to Teddy Roosevelt, Zig Ziglar and Dr. John Maxwell
So begin today connecting with others just like President Reagan, Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, and the Roofer.