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Winning With People: 30 Second Rule

leadership teamwork Sep 02, 2019

Since everything we accomplish is with or through people, every Monday I'll be sharing a lesson from John Maxwell's book, Winning with People. If you want to accomplish more and enhance the relations at your school or organization, begin implementing these practices and share with your team. 

When people first meet or greet someone, they are typically worried about how they will look or sound, searching for ways to make themselves look or feel good. In John Maxwell's book, Winning With People, he shares a lesson he learned from watching his father connect and lead people for almost 70 yeas now. It's called the 30-Second Rule.

"The key to the 30-second rule is reversing this practice. When you make contact with people, instead of focusing on yourself, search for ways to make others fee good," John notes. 

This might look like:

  • Looking at your calendar in the morning, if you know who you are going to see, maybe at a meeting, take a few moments to pause and think about encouraging words to share with them;
  • Thanking them for something they have done for you or a friend; 
  • Complimenting them in front of others based on something they accomplished;
  • Praising them for a personal quality they may exhibit; or,
  • Complimenting their appearance. 

The practice isn’t complicated but it does take time, effort and discipline. I tried a few of these examples last week during trainings and group coaching sessions I led. I could really see a difference in how people gave effort, interacted with each other and opened up to me when most in the room were comfortable with silence. 

"All people feel better and do better when you give them the Triple A Treatment; attentionaffirmation and appreciation," John shares. This week, during the first 30 seconds of your encounters, give people your undivided attention. Affirm them, and show your appreciation for them in someway. Then watch what happens to their energy and motivation!

Apply the 30 Second Rule to Your Life (John Maxwell's notes).....

Forget about:

Searching for ways to make yourself look good. Instead, search for ways to make others look good. 


What positive, encouraging thing can I say to each person I will see today?

Do it: 

Give everyone you meet the Triple-A Treatment - attention, affirmation, and appreciation. 


Within the first thirty seconds of a conversation, say something encouraging. 


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