This past week, Colin Guthrie, PhD and CEO of the Mental Performance Consulting group shared with me the Bill Clinton quote “Connection is not the same as Communication.”
The quote stuck in my brain all week. I found a surprising number of applications of the quote throughout the week…
1. I found myself saying a variation of it in a conversation about creating new ideas. As in …getting hands on connected with ideas is not the same as simply thinking of ideas.
2. I found myself saying a variation when talking about how to best teach with some school administrators… As in…hands on connecting on lab assignments is not the same as simply reading a book or listening to a lecture.
3. I found myself reciting a variation of it when talking with a CEO about gaining alignment. As in… connecting face to face about strategy (commanders intent) is not the same as simply publishing a strategy and slide deck.
Communication is about a transfer of information.
Connection is about a transfer of the whole - the information along with the feeling, intent and the deeper meaning.
Arguably, the reason why the Cycles to Mastery education system we use to teach Innovation Engineering is so effective is that the percentage of time connecting - between faculty and students and between students is 90%+ versus 10 to 30% in classic college and executive education methods.
The ability to make Connections is critical when doing Stimulus Mining in preparation for a create or problem solving session. When you connect deeply - with others you exponentially grow your ability to make new connections and to spark fresh ideas.
Here are three ideas for increasing the CONNECTIONS you make in the week ahead.
- NURTURE CURIOSITY: You can do this by simply opening yourself to the world around you. You can do this by being fully present with your eyes, ears, nose, heart, brain and intuition. Let your mind absorb the full reality of the situation without judgement.
- SLOW YOUR MIND: In a meeting last week I consciously stopped my mind from processing and focused 100% of my energy on the conversation. Instead of stating facts I asked questions. I doubled my rate of questions - and in the process - communicated my ideas 4X better… because I was more fully connected.
- BE WRONG MORE: Even when you think you are right - allow yourself to be wrong. Instead of fighting for the final word - say to yourself “I’m going to assume I’m wrong.” When you assume you are wrong you open yourself up to connecting with others. You can still share your ideas and perceptions - but as they come from a humbleness - you make a deeper connection
Connection is not the same as communication.
Have a great week.
p.s. I want to point attention to a post by Greg on Friday's NO GURU REQUIRED. What he found by digging into massive amounts of data is that what kills most ideas is not that customers don't like the idea - but rather we can't make the idea real (Technology Risk). This matters because sadly how we spend our time is exactly reversed... our CONNECTIONS that is Stimulus Mining and Research is primarily with customers not with vendors and technology providers.