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Rick Austin

My role is one that creates and causes organizational change. This post speaks to me from that standpoint and as noted in "It Starts With One" by J. Stewart Black and Hal Gregersen, it is so important to understand the perspective of the person you are communicating with.

We get caught in the trap referred to the "curse of knowledge" and quickly forget about the journey we took to get to our current understanding. It takes thought and patience to retrace that journey and provide messaging required to get others to make the same journey.

Great post and you are one of my must read bloggers.

Lynn M

Dale Carnegie's book "How to Win Friends and Influence People" mentions time and time again -- be sincere, be genuine. "Become genuinely interested in other people." "Make others feel important -- and do it sincerely." It wasn't about being a phony but finding ways to show genuine interest. I agree with you, if you absolutely are unwilling to connect with a group of people, don't even try. People can always sense distance and phoniness. This can be seen as insulting, so you are hurting yourself even more by trying it. I do think, though, that if you often find yourself not wanting to connect with others and you're in sales or sales management, you're definitely in the wrong career.

Steve Roesler


Your allusion to the "curse of knowledge" is a good reminder for everyone involved in change, persuasion, and influence; which is, of course, all of us.

My experience has been that not only do we forget the journey required, but we also forget the length of that journey. By the time we stand up to share our "next big thing", we may have been ruminating and refining it for as much as a couple of years. We then wonder why people are asking questions instead of praising our brilliance!

Thank you for the kind words about the blog, Rick. It helps make it all worthwhile.

Steve Roesler


Your last line can be made into a good career question for aspiring sales types. And it could be expanded to all areas of management, since "connecting with people" is the job description in a nutshell.

Thanks for weighing in...

Chris Witt


Love this post. (I also love Cicero.)

I would add one question to your go/no go test:
Am I willing to spend the time and energy to dream their dreams?

Alexander Herzen, a 19th century Russian revolutionary, said, "You can waken people only by dreaming their dreams more clearly than they dream them themselves."


Dan Erwin

Thanks for the reinforcement, Steve. And do all of the connecting with great stories. Narratives are always the way to connect best.

Last year, one of my daughters, a research professional got a terrific 6 figure job. When she went back to check out with all of the interviewers why she got the job, among the factors they listed in addition to her experience and education was "great stories." And that from world famous scientists, as well as the HR director.


Nettie Hartsock


This is a great and inspiring post. I just loved it. One of the things in all of these new tools of communication is in my humble opinion to keep in mind that people still really want to connect just as they might over a real cup of coffee (not a virtual one.)

I think the balance of all of these new tools is to still connect from the heart and not from just the e-place.

Steve Roesler

Chris, glad we could toss in a little Cicero to start off the week.

And it's not often we get a good quote tossed this way from a Russian revolutionary. You've always got something there in the resource bin!

Steve Roesler

Dan, that's an inspiring, confirming story and one that every Dad would be proud to tell.

Given the good fortune re: her salary, have you mentioned the lifestyle to which you would like to become accustomed in your "mature" years?

The feedback she received from both communities has me thinking about using this in an upcoming post. I think her example would be a good model for other job-seekers.

Steve Roesler


So good to see you again.

Your last line is a quotable one. I'm beginning to be concerned by this: Since, over time, we fall into "accepted" ways of being, will the "e-place" start to become so prevalent that the next generation of people will begin to accept the interaction there as a "genuine" relationship?

In the meantime, I'm up for coffee and face time at the drop of a hat.

Chris Young

Powerful post Steve! The power of persuasion in the workplace cannot be underestimated and Cicero's test is a great place to go for self assessment.

I've featured your post in my weekly Rainmaker 'Fab Five' blog picks of the week (featured here: http://www.maximizepossibility.com/employee_retention/2009/03/the-rainmaker-fab-five-blog-picks-of-the-week-4.html) to share this powerful post with my readers.

Be well Steve!

-Chris Young

Steve Roesler

Chris, always a treat to be honored in the Rainmaker Fab Five.

Lynn Ferguson

Thanks Steve really enjoyed the post, I work with teams and I'm always looking for fresh ways to talk about how to connect better as team performance is so highly affected by team members abilities to communicate and make the connections. This really re-inforces the key concepts and will definately refer to it in my next team debrief.


Steve Roesler


Let me know how that debrief goes if you have a minute. It's always satisfying--and a way to learn--when what happens here is moved directly into the workplace. (That's the idea!).

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