Make the Connection: Improve Your Communication at Work and at Home

Make the Connection: Improve Your Communication at Work and at Home

Make the Connection: Improve Your Communication at Work and at Home

Make the Connection: Improve Your Communication at Work and at Home


In this collection of compelling and practical essays, Emmy Award-winning broadcaster, newspaper columnist, and motivational speaker Steve Adubato shares concrete tips and tools that will help you connect more effectively at work, at home, under pressure, in leadership roles, and in high-tech environments. From avoiding unnecessary arguments with your spouse to coaching a valuable, yet difficult employee, Adubato''s essays delve into the key factors that motivate people to act and respond the way that they do.

You will find answers to some of the most common questions about public speaking as well as advice on overcoming its anxieties. Whether the forum is a PTA meeting or a large professional function, essays explore topics such as:

  • Why even practiced speakers sometimes experience stage fright
  • How to keep your audience awake and interested in what you are saying

You will learn essential skills for interacting in the workplace, including:

  • How to negotiate a good deal and still be honest and straight
  • How to keep team projects from falling apart
  • How to conduct yourself in confrontational situations, such as receiving a public insult
  • Drawing on examples set by public figures, including Bill Clinton, Rudy Giuliani, Mario Cuomo, Martha Stewart, Jack Welch, Joe Torre, and many others, Adubato addresses the unique communication challenges that those in leadership positions face. Essays examine:

    What ordinary people can learn from leaders in high-profile positions

    Why so many leaders have difficulty taking responsibility and apologizing for their actions

    As technology continues to provide opportunities for quicker and more visual communication, Adubato also lets you know when hi-tech bells and whistles get in the way of making a more personal and human connection.


    In 1984, as a twenty-six-year-old delegate to the Democratic National Convention in San Francisco, I was mesmerized, along with millions watching on TV, as Mario Cuomo gave the most passionate and memorable convention speech in modern history. I have always been fascinated by people who can make a deep emotional connection through communication. (Years later I would interview Cuomo about that speech for a column that I’ve included in this book.)

    Yet the ’84 Cuomo speech is the exception. Most of my experiences have involved situations where people didn’t even know there was a “connection” to be made, or when they tried to connect, barriers existed and weren’t overcome. Frustration and confusion often followed.

    As a state legislator in New Jersey during the mid-80s, I sat through countless mind-numbing speeches on the House floor and during the fourth or fifth hour of legislative committee hearings. Because they gave rambling presentations with no clear message, the speakers were ignored by most senators and representatives. I confess, I often looked for reasons to excuse myself for other “pressing business.” I also found that the most effective and most persuasive legislators sometimes listened more and spoke less. Listening is a powerful but too often overlooked communication tool.

    As a doctoral student in communication and media studies, I listened to too many “lectures” from smart professors who knew a lot about communication theory but had little ability or desire to connect with students by using probing questions to engage them in a meaningful conversation.

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