Communicating vs. Connecting

by Taylor Deer

Have you ever told someone something that you were really proud of, only to have them completely not care about it in the way that you do?

This happens to us all the time within Greek Life. We win awards, we have record breaking community service hours, we win Greek Week and we just want to shout it to the world because we are so proud! Yet, when we do tell others about it, such as potential new members; they might not care about those things at all. Then our greatest triumphs begin to feel not so triumphant any more.

I believe this is not an issue with communication. In fact, I think we communicate exceptionally. We talk about our scholarships, our awards, our prestigious alumni, our national philanthropies all the time, especially when trying to impress potential new members.

I believe that we as Greeks have a problem connecting. Recently I have been reading a book called “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” by John C. Maxwell. In this book it discusses how even the most well intentioned message will go unheard if we don’t connect with our audience before communicating with them.

Connecting is all about creating common ground.

They won’t care about, what we care about; until we care about, what they are about.

Next time you are talking with someone about what you care about in Greek Life, think to yourself. “Do I know what they care about?” The moment we start creating common ground and relatable moments, is the time when we stop communicating and start connecting.

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