Wayne County Sergeant Brian Chase

 by Brian Benedict

Left: Sergeant Brian Chase of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department in Michigan.  Right: Brian Benedict

Sergeant Chase has become a good friend of mine.  Not only is he protecting his officers and firefighters around Detroit but he’s inspired me to write about communicating to connect.

Let’s talk about “Communicating to Connect”

Whether you’re sitting around the firehouse, police station, jail or prison you want to minimize the nine conversational sins.

  • Let go my Ego

  • Gossip Grapevine

  • Judging others

  • Being Positively Negative

  • Always Complaining

  • Making Excuses

  • Exaggerationalist

  • Cynical Skeptic

  • Always the Topper

Do those hit home?  I’m with you brother.  These are what I call conversation killers.  If you decide to use one of them you might as well head for the door.

Here are five tips to connecting.  They may sound silly but I dare you to try them.

 1. Don’t raise your voice.  Try to stay calm and confident.  Some people think they need to raise their voice to get the point across.  Actually keeping your voice calm will have others admiring.

 2. How do you say your words?  Are you speaking with an angry tone?  Are you speaking as if you lack confidence?  Be calm and confident.

 3.  Are you boring?  Do you speak in a monotone voice?  Creating a little excitement never hurt a story.

4.  How fast or slow do you speak?  A good rule of thumb is to match the listeners speech tempo first and gradually move towards your comfort speed.  If you begin faster or slower than the listener you’ll lose them.

5.  Those with short attention spans listen closely.  If you know you have a short attention span you’ll need to focus harder at speaking , communicating and connecting.  Nothing loses listeners quicker than someone who drifts off like a narcoleptic conversationist.  I guess that’s called day dreaming.


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