Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Connecting Beyond Words (1)


In this third chapter of his book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect”, John Maxwell discusses the various components that go into connecting with others.

In the first part of his chapter, he states that words, whether written or spoken, only represent a part of what is communicated, and a small part at that.   It turns out that the visual and non-verbal (gestural) components not only represent the other parts of what is communicated, but they represent the MAJOR parts of communication.

1.  Thought, Emotion, Action

John Maxwell starts this first of the chapter with an interesting statistic:

  • What we say accounts for only 7 percent of what is communicated
  • The way we say it accounts for 38 percent
  • What others see accounts for 55 percent

Therefore, when we want to connect with others, we need to include the following three components:

  • Thought:   what we know
  • Emotion:  what we feel
  • Action:  what we do

2.  The 4 Communication Styles and the 3 Components of Connection

These three not only need to be present in your communication, but they need to be consistent and reinforce each other.    There are four communication preferences which people have, which correspond to

  • People
  • Ideas
  • Action
  • Process

How do these styles map on to the 3 Components of Connection?   Those that prefer ideas are those for whom thought is the most important component.   Those that prefer people are those for whom emotion is the most important component.   And of course it goes without saying that those that prefer action are those for whom action items are the most important component.    How does the preference for process relate to communication?    A communication needs to relate to itself, meaning it has to have a certain structure:   a beginning, middle, and end, and these have to reinforce each other.

When you do are doing a speech, let’s say, you will have your own preference, and this means that you will never leave out this component, because it is what you yourself prefer.   However, your audience will consist of those with the other three preferences, and you need to include those elements as well in order to make that everyone gets something out of speech, in other words, that you connect with everyone in the audience.

In the next post, I talk about the next part of the chapter, where John Maxwell introduces the Connection Checklist, which shows the six elements you need to keep in mind when communicating with your boss or your sponsor.

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