When last did you stop to smell the flowers in your home or at the grocery store you last visited? You have to smell them out these days. Flowers just don’t smell like they used it. I’ve been too busy over the years to notice when this happened, but thankfully this hasn’t happened to my favourite St Joseph’s Lillie’s!

It’s important that as a leader at work and at home that you take a time out for yourself. A time for reflection and to recharge your mind so you have renewed perspective. As a manager I find taking time out with your team can be as rewarding! A lunch away from the office, an indulgent slice of cake and a cup of tea can work just as great! No shop talk, but rather time spent getting to know your team and practicing the law of connection as John Maxwell calls it.

Law of Connection: Leaders should touch a heart before they ask for a hand.

In John C. Maxwell’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership: Follow Them and People Will Follow You (2007), John shares the importance of connection and leadership.

The stronger the relationship, the more effectively the leader can persuade people to help. Connect with people at an individual level. So make sure you also take the time with each of your children to be able to connect with them on a deeper level to make that emotional an authentic connection with them. Take them for lunch or a cup of tea! When you understand what individuals need and you strive to fulfill those needs, you improve the ability to reach your goals and the stronger your leadership becomes both at home and at work.

1. Connect with yourself – Understand yourself and develop confidence in your skills, knowledge, and ability to share those with other people. Don’t underestimate this tip.

2. Communicate openly and sincerely – People sense quickly the level of your sincerity. Good leaders connect with others through openness, honesty, and sincerity.

3. Know your audience – You connect with people when you know their names, history, dreams, goals, want, needs, and desires. As a leader, you need to balance your needs with the needs of others.

4. Live your message – You build credibility when your actions match your words, refer to the law of solid ground.

5. Remove communication barriers – Communication barriers come in many forms. Physical barriers are the most obvious communication inhibitor, but you can improve your connection by adjusting your language (verbal and non-verbal) to the culture, background, and education of your audience. Adapt to others, do not expect them to adapt to you.

6. Focus on your audience not on yourself – John claims this is a major issue with inexperienced or ineffective leaders. When you focus on your audience rather than yourself your connections develop much faster.

7. Believe in your audience – Communicate with the understanding that your audience is valuable not with the motive that what you say is valuable.

8. Offer your audience direction and hope – People expect leaders to provide the guidance necessary to reach objectives. Good leaders provide that guidance but also provide a sense of hope for the future.

So remember to smell the roses with those in your life as well as on your own. Life is enriched by the quality of the relationships we have so let’s work to improve them while we slow down to also enjoy them!

God Bless on this Ephesians 3:20 day!!