Chris Boardman Music Blog: Vital Collaborations Part 3: Making connections

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Vital Collaborations Part 3: Making connections

(This is an excerpt from a speech I gave at the VizualNow Event July 27th).

What is this thing: “charisma” Why is it some people are more popular than others? We’ve all known someone who is a people magnet....people can’t seem to get enough of them. So why is it easy for some  and so difficult for others?

In my experience it all revolves around the ability to connect with others in a deeply personal way. 

Some years back I met Oprah Winfrey. We had a short conversation about both of us working on the Color Purple. What we talked about is not that important. What I remember most about that encounter was the intensity of her attention. When she looked me in the eye I was speechless...she was focusing her entire being on me and it was overwhelming. Honestly, I had to look away....I wasn’t prepared for that. 

We’ve all met intense people...people with a personal agenda who never hesitate to push themselves onto us.

Oprah WAS intense...but it was different. It was as if she was searching, scanning me....to absorb as much about me as she could. She was focusing her ENTIRE ATTENTION.....to see what was in my heart.

Connecting in a conversation is basically an exercise in empathy...listening not with the intent to reply but to absorb everything about the other person....trying to understand what is REALLY being said....not what you THINK is being said.

Most of us listen, waiting for the moment when we can blurt out what we are thinking....when we do we can easily miss the subtext of what is really being said.

It doesn’t matter if you are in line at Starbucks or in this room. 

Looking the person you are speaking with right in the eye...giving them respect by actively paying attention sends a huge message: 

At that moment they are more important than you...the most important thing to you is the next word they say...

This simple yet profound act of connection will pay enormous dividends by creating trust and intimacy.

And Trust...


 is the foundation of ALL sustaining relationships. 

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