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What is The Macklin Method?

Does it seem difficult to create new relationships and actually connect with other people? The Macklin Method teaches you the fundamentals of human connection.

When you feel stuck, it can seem overwhelming to figure out how to move forward. Even though what you’ve been doing isn’t working, it doesn’t seem like anything else is going to have the impact you want. It’s easier just to stay in the same patterns, despite how unhappy you feel.

You feel powerless and out of control. You watch your life play out almost the same way each day, with no hope of things getting better.

At MacklinConnection, we know how frustrating it is to feel stuck. And we believe it is through creating better relationships with ourselves and others that we can find real fulfillment in life. This is why we offer a 7-step method that took over 30 years to develop to help you transform your life through connecting with yourself and the people in your life. By implementing this method in your daily life, you’re able to better understand what you want and how to ask for help to get it. 

So what is this method? Here, we discuss the 7 steps of The Macklin Method and how you can use them to get where you want to be.

What is The Macklin Method?

Based on human biology, the 7-part Macklin Method explains why and how humans connect — then shows the steps required to create connections. It is a model anyone can apply and see results in their life.  

Despite growing up in a culture that told us our success is dependent on our own efforts, it is actually through our ability to create meaningful connections that we can truly begin to live the lives we want.

The first part of the method helps you learn how to connect with yourself. You’ll evaluate who you are and what you want. By being able to better understand your own needs, fears, and wants, you can more easily empathize with others. This creates an ideal environment for connection. 

Connecting with yourself first is foundational to building relationships with others. If you don’t have a firm understanding of who you are, it can be difficult to determine what you want (and what help you need to get what you want).

Without knowing yourself, it can also be easier to be influenced by others. You might think you are going after what you want. However, without fully knowing who you are, you might be taking on what someone else wants. And then, when you get that thing, you aren’t even happy. (Because it wasn’t actually you who wanted it.)

After you discover how to really connect with yourself, the method then walks you through how to notice when someone is ready to connect with you. Often, when we are excited to connect or communicate with others, we jump in without considering where the other person is coming from. 

Even if you approach someone saying all the “right” things, if they are not in a receptive state, they won’t be able to actually hear what you have to say without running it through their own filter. When you have observed that someone is open to connecting with you, the next part of the method involves providing opportunities to connect and giving the other person space to accept your offer. 

What are the Steps of The Macklin Method?

Here is a breakdown of each step of the method:

Step 1: Be your stand.

Your stand is your commitment of what you will do, what you won’t do, and what you might do. When you create your stand, you discover who you are. What is important to you? What will you not stand for? Your stand shouldn’t be something you can turn on or off depending on the situation; it should always be the place you act from. This first step of the method allows you to really get to know yourself. By creating your stand, you are examining yourself and what you really stand for. This allows you to act from a place of authenticity.

Step 2: Care and assess what help might matter.

Who do you want to connect with? Learn what they care about, and figure out what help you can offer that might matter to them.

Step 3: Engage and watch for the Imaginal Moment. 

Observe the person you are connecting with. Discover what they are noticing. Stay present. Pay attention to the other person’s cues. By paying attention, you can notice when they might be open to your offer to connect. Then you can ask them questions or share relevant personal stories to get them to consider their situation. This is a gentle way to start opening a line of communication and exchanging help with someone without making them feel intimidated or threatened.

When you begin to notice what the other person is concerned with, a space opens for an Imaginal Moment occurs. Caterpillars possess a set of cells, Imaginal Cells, that stay dormant until the moment when they begin the process of creating a new form and structure. The Imaginal Cells allow a caterpillar to transform into a butterfly. Humans do not have Imaginal Cells. But we have something infinitely more powerful: language and the ability to create stories.  We, humans, are creators. And when yout potential connections create the story that they need help, a new structure and form becomes real for them. This is what we call the Imaginal Moment.  

Step 4: Share how we can help each other.

Share the help you have to give that matters to the other person.  Be authentic (remember your stand from Step 1), and let them know you’d like to connect.

Step 5: Provide options to connect.

Once you’ve expressed wanting to connect with another person, give options on how you can join up. For example, maybe you are trying to connect with a neighbor who is an avid gardener. You’ve heard them express a desire to start growing the same plant you’ve mastered in your own yard. So you invite them to check out your garden and share plant cuttings they might not have with them.  

Step 6: Allow them to accept. 

This is arguably one of the steps you might find most challenging. It requires you to be patient. It could take 3 minutes or 3 years for the other person to accept your offer to connect with you. The choice is theirs. Accept the outcome and know you are enough just as you are (no matter what happens!).

Step 7: Allow others to contribute to you.

Be comfortable with receiving help from the other person. By accepting help and allowing someone else to contribute to your life you strengthen the connection you are building. This step can also be difficult if you have a history of not being able to receive help from other people. But the more you practice, the more comfortable you will get with allowing others to help you.

It is important to note the steps have an order to them for a reason. If you feel like you are getting tripped up, retrace your actions to see if you missed or rushed through an earlier step. 

Who Created The Macklin Method?

The Macklin Method was created by Ron Macklin. Ron realized early in his engineering career that he had a passion for building and leading teams. And he also realized that to succeed, he needed to build a deep network of support. He needed to learn why people connect and how they create results together. This led him on a 30-year journey that culminated in the creation of the 7-step Macklin Method and the launch of MacklinConnection.

In his career, Ron led teams that set nine world records and won dozens of customer satisfaction awards. At Siemens, for example, Ron led a support division with 350 employees that worked over 5 million hours without a lost-time injury and was voted “the best place to work in Houston” by the Houston Business Journal. Twice Ron has created a growth culture responsible for increasing profits by $20 million, and he has led seven different groups from worst- to best-in-class.

When to Use The Macklin Method

Because The Macklin Method is based on human biology, it can be applied in any situation where you are interacting with another person. It doesn’t matter if you are at work, at home with your family, or wandering around the grocery store. If there are people in your environment, you have an opportunity to put The Macklin Method into practice.

My Experience with The Macklin Method

Here are some examples of how I have experienced and used The Macklin Method in my own life. This will help you see how you might be able to use it to create a more fulfilling life for yourself.

I started learning The Macklin Method about a month into working for MacklinConnection. While I am still practicing it every day, I have started to get into my own flow with it. As soon as I started incorporating it into my life, I noticed a change in myself and how I approached the world around me. Most importantly, I started feeling more confident in myself. And it was a genuine, authentic confidence I hadn’t experienced before. 

It is pretty common to want confidence. But to actually embody confidence was something fairly new for me. Part of the process of me feeling confident in myself was really taking the time to get to know myself and untangle my beliefs about who I am (this is step 1 of the method). 

In this process, I realized a lot of things I thought were true about myself were actually stories I had picked up somewhere. For example, I labeled myself as quiet and shy and introverted for most of my life. But, when working through step 1 of the method, I realized that I’m actually not those things at all. I enjoy my time with people and sharing stories and being loud. By embracing this side of myself, I’ve been able to write a completely new story for my experiences going forward. 

By being confident in who I am and what I want, I have been able to make exciting connections and reconnect with my family and friends in a much more powerful way. I’ve been traveling for the last three months, which has provided me with countless opportunities to experiment with the method. The “old me” would have stayed in her little bubble as much as possible. But, because I’ve learned so much from the method about how to connect and why it’s important, I put myself out there with strangers and made some incredible new friends. My life already feels so much fuller.

Here I am on a hike in California with some of the new friends I met while traveling.

Using The Macklin Method at Work

Most of the participants who go through the workshop and apply the method report interactions with their co-workers being one of the first things that changed for them. They feel like they are able to communicate easily and ask for help from others. (To read about one of our success stories with this, see this article.) 

For me, understanding and applying The Macklin Method is part of my work. From day one, I was seeing the benefit of working in an environment where the method is practiced. It felt like all the heavy lifting had already been done, and I was able to waltz into this immaculate environment and reap the rewards. I finally understood what “positive work culture” actually looks like (for more on this concept, see this article).

I feel incredibly lucky to get to work with people who have incorporated The Macklin Method into their lives. This has helped me get more comfortable with the steps, because I am regularly interacting with people who are using the same tools I am. And I can ask for guidance at any time.  

This also makes our work meetings one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job. This is a completely new feeling because I used to actually hide under my desk at one of my old jobs to avoid interactions with my co-workers. 

But, at MacklinConnection, I have experienced nothing but respect and support - to the point where I still walk away from meetings overwhelmed with gratitude. I feel like my co-workers genuinely care about me as a person. They aren’t only interested in what I can do for them. I have not worked in an environment like this before. And it honestly took some time to get used to the fact that no one was going to yell at me. In fact, Ron has even encouraged me (multiple times) to try things out and mess up. As a recovering perfectionist, that was a big moment for me. 

Discover The Macklin Method for Yourself

If you feel like you aren’t where you want to be in life, you might feel powerless. Maybe it feels like nothing you do will help your situation. (Check out: Do You Feel Stuck? for more on this.)

But there are opportunities for you to start making changes. It doesn’t have to be one big gesture. It can be a series of steps you take until you feel more sure of yourself and where you are going.

At MacklinConnection, we developed The Macklin Method Workshop to offer solutions for you to transform your life. This is a safe place for you to discover and practice The Macklin Method. By learning how to connect with yourself - and then others - you can find out who you really are and what you really want from life. You can then make empowered decisions to create a life for yourself that is more aligned with your vision.

If you are ready to transform yourself and your life, you might be interested in joining our online community to access even more content and connect with others. In our community, you can explore articles centered around sharing vulnerable, authentic stories to help you start to create the life you want. You can also access a library of courses and build connections with others who want to change the world one relationship at a time.