The ability to connect with your audience is the key to being able to connect with others.

Over the years I’ve been delivering training on communication, I’ve learned that – for some people – there’s a thin line between learning to communicate effectively, and dishonesty. Some would even say ‘manipulation’.

Making an intentional effort to connect with another, so the argument goes, is akin to deliberately setting out to deceive. Actively choosing specific communication tactics is ‘not real’, the critics have said.

Authenticity

I’ve never quite got the logic of this. How can making a conscious choice to connect with your audience be false or dishonest? (I’ve no problem with ‘manipulation’ either, it simply means ‘skillful handling’).

While it’s true that authenticity is a characteristic shared by people who communicate well and gain the trust of others, how does taking steps, for example, to master your body language, build rapport and/or listen well, threaten this? This has been my line for many years.

Then along comes Mark Bowden and turns the whole discussion on its head. He brilliantly demonstrates how being in-authentic is vital if you want to connect with others quickly.