Jul 19, 2010

Book Review: Everyone Communicates Few Connect

This is a book review of the new book by John C Maxwell 'Everyone Communicates Few Connect'. John C. Maxwell is an internationally respected leadership expert, speaker, and author of many best sellers. You can read his thoughts on his blog JohnMaxwellOnLeadership.com.

'Everyone Communicates Few Connect'
makes a strong case that communication is not complete unless you have connected with your audience. Your audience can be one or many but you need to connect with them in order to achieve your objectives.

The book is made up of two parts; Connecting Principles (Part I) & Connecting Practices (Part II). In the paragraphs below I would like to share snippets on what the book talks about.

Connecting Principles

Why Connect with others?
John first talks in detail about why we need to connect with our audience. Why is it so important? What happens if we do not connect? He shares lot of personal stories to illustrate his point. Be it a group or one-on-one, be it work or home we need to connect to make the most of our skills. Connecting can make or break you.

It's about them
When it comes to connecting, you cannot be self-focused. In order to connect, you have to start focusing and worrying about others. You can only connect if you know about them, care about them and think about them. John shares a very beautiful point here. He says that people ask themselves three questions when they deal with anyone.

Do you care for me? Can you help me? Can I trust you?

If we understand these questions and if we care, help and are trust worthy we will have no problems in connecting with others.

Actions speak louder than words
We cannot say something and do the other and yet expect people to be with us. We have to live what we say. John stresses that we need to connect with people at 4 levels; connect visually, intellectually, emotionally & verbally.

What you sow, so shall you reap
To connect with people requires effort. They will get what you put in. John also shares what he calls the 'Four Unpardonable Sins of a Communicator - unprepared, uncommitted, uninteresting or uncomfortable'. He relates the first three sins to the energy a communicator is willing to put in.

Connecting is a skill we can learn
John is of the point of view that the ability to connect is just another skill and can be learnt. There is no such thing as a born connector. This book is basically an effort to show how one can connect better.

Connecting Practices

Part II is where the book delves into further detail of how one can connect with the audience. John urges us to find common grounds, keep our message simple, create our communication into an interesting experience for listeners, inspire people & live what we communicate. I would not get into the details of each chapter.
Good things about the book
The book has something to offer to every communicator, presenter and business leader. The book has a clear focus 'Connect better with your audience' and it has been written in a very simple manner. It is jargon free and easy to read for all. You may be an executive or a CEO but you will find the book easy to understand.

What could have been better
The book attempts to explain 'everything' in detail. It makes a conscious effort that 'everyone' who reads the book should understand what's being said. That's why it becomes a bit slow. If you have got the point by the time you are half way through the paragraph, the other half might seem slow and repetitious. The reader should pace the book to get the most out of it.

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