The Art of Connection

The Weekly Banner_12.gif

By Monty Kelso

I guess you could say that people are my hobby.

I’m “wired up” as a raging extrovert…something I actually like about myself. So spending time with people fills my days… most days anyway. People genuinely intrigue me: what inspires them, frustrates them and challenges them to keep marching onward

Its no surprise to those who know me that connecting people is what I do for a living. I’m a professional connector. I help connect churches with great staff. It began as helping them find worship leaders and has now morphed into helping them find all kinds of leaders and artists.

No, I’m not a “head-hunter”. Those guys are more left-brain, data driven types. I’m more of a right brain (from the gut) kind of guy. It means I like to climb deep into the hearts and minds of people. It really is more art than science.

Deep human connection satisfies a deep need born within us all! It cannot be under estimated. But how often we ignore it!

I’m convinced that all of us can improve on “connectivity”.  You know how frustrating it is when you are cruising through a day and your cell phone drops a call or your internet connection stalls? The same kinds of things happen in our human connection. And as a result we miss out on the best parts of life.  

Here are a few pointers to improve your human connectivity skills:

  1. Reach out to someone every day for no other reason other than to call and encourage. 
  2. Learn to naturally ask questions. It's like a game of tennis. Always lob the conversation back in the court of your contact. This aplies to long time friends, family and even complete strangers. This means that you are genuinely interested in them. 
  3. Remember details. You will surprise the person if you follow up from a prior conversation next time you connect. For example: "How did your son's tournament turn out?" ... "Did you get the problem with your boss resolved?"
  4. Be aware! Everyone has needs… everyday. Some big and some small. If you can be a link to helping solve a friend’s problem you have just made a sizable deposit in the friendship account.
  5. Stay culturally “in touch”. If you are reading, watching, listening to the world around you it will become automatic to “connect the dots” throughout daily conversations… casual and otherwise. 
  6. Be generous with hugs. Warm hugs warm the hearts of people. It says that they matter to you.
  7. Return phone calls and messages the same day if possible. 
  8. Go above and beyond with others expectations. Prefer one another “in love”. The old business adage of “under promise and over deliver” applies in all kinds of relationships. 
  9. Encourage others with words of affirmation. Find something to compliment a person for in every interaction. This takes practice to not feel contrived but you’ll get the hang of it. 
  10. Recognize TIME! Remember important dates; show up on time; plan plenty of margin in your day because true connection requires more time than you think. One who scampers through life in a constant hurry is sure to miss the best things in life. 

No doubt that as we grow older we learn what matters most in life.  Ultimately relationships matter most! Whether it’s with God or our neighbor two doors down relationships determine our true net worth. The greatest wealth is not measured by the size of our bank accounts, but rather, the number of people who call us a true friend.

255.jpg Monty's promo shot.jpg

Monty Kelso is a cofounder of Slingshot Group and a mentor to many. He served as the Creative Communications Director and Worship Leader for Coast Hills Community Church in Aliso Viejo, CA for nearly 20 years. Monty has worked as a worship leader, designer and consultant with Maranatha! Music’s Worship Leader Worskshop,  Willow Creek Association, Christian Associates International, Campus Crusade, Jesus Film, Continental Ministries and more. He serves on the board of directors for The Grove Center for the Arts and the National Worship Mentor Association. Monty and his wife of 33 years have three sons and reside in San Clemente, CA. He is a relational junkie who loves running, biking, great food, coffee and wine. Follow Monty on twitter @montykelso