Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Focusing on Others (3)

I joined a Mastermind group which is taking the book by the leadership guru John C. Maxwell called “Everyone Communicates Few Connect” and going through the book one chapter a week.    The first part of the book consists of 5 chapters on Connecting Principles, and the second part of the book consists of 5 chapters on Connecting Practices.

I am going to cover each chapter with one blog post, taking notes based on my reading of the chapter.    Rather than simply a summary of each chapter, I hope these notes will provide my own interpretation of the material, especially regarding the ways it applies to the various facets of my life where I am applying leadership (in church, in Toastmasters, as a project manager).    I hope to relate my experiences learning foreign languages and working in foreign countries to the subject of communication.


Chapter 2–Connecting Is All About Others

The first chapter was an introduction to the importance of connecting rather than just communicating.   The second chapter starts getting into the principles behind connecting with others.

The last post dealt with John Maxwell’s decision in his early career to get better at communicating.   He got a clue from Zig Ziglar at a Success Seminar John Maxwell attended in Dayton, Ohio:   he realized he was trying to get ahead by correcting others when he should have been trying to connect with others.    He also discussed the elements that keep a person from connecting, namely a) immaturity, b) ego, c) failure to value everyone, and d) insecurity.

In this post, John Maxwell shows the three questions that people always ask themselves when interacting with others.   If you can answer those questions, you will succeed in connecting with those people.

1.  “Do You Care for Me?”

If you make the subject of the conversation about yourself, then you will not connect with others.   If you make the subject the person you are talking to, then you may have a chance of connecting.

2.  “Can You Help Me?”

Focus on the benefits of the information you are conveying to the person you are communicating to.   Don’t give information in a rapid-fire way like a fire hose; give it in a gentle way like a garden hose, so that the person has a chance to leisurely drink at their own pace.

3.  “Can I Trust You?”

Is the information you are giving credible?   You should be able to answer any questions or concerns that your audience has about it.

These are all points which can cause people to connect with you.    In a previous John Maxwell book, he related the story of a prominent Englishwoman who, at the end of the 19th century, had a chance to meet the current Prime Minister to Queen Victoria, William Gladstone, at a formal dinner.    The following week she met the former Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli at another formal dinner.   She said that Gladstone made her feel like he was the most intelligent and interesting person at the table.   However, Disraeli made her feel like she was the most intelligent and interesting person at the table.   That is the difference between communicating and connecting.



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: