Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Connecting Beyond Words (2)

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, which I covered in the last past, he stated 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.   These three parts of non-verbal communication connect with people through thought, emotion, and a call to action.

In this section, John Maxwell presents his Connection Checklist, which I relate to the three categories of thought, emotion and action-related communication styles presented in the previous section.    There is a fourth category of communication style which John Maxwell does not mention, and that is the process-related style.

1.  INTEGRITY–Did I do my best?

This is the sincerity test–did the words, gestures, and phrasing all connect to your passion for the subject being presented?

2.  EXPECTATION–Did I please my sponsor or my audience?

What objectives did you have for the speech?   If these were not provided to you by the sponsor, what did you imagine them being from the audience’s point of view, and did you achieve those objectives?

3.  RELEVANCE–Did I understand and relate to the audience?

Did you give the audience information that was useful to them?    And before you gave that information, did you try to connect to the audience as people?   If they care about you, they will care about your message.

4.  VALUE–Did I add value to the people?

Did you give them ideas, stories, or action items to take away from the presentation?   Were they related in such a simple, compelling way as to be memorable?

5.  APPLICATION–Did I give people a game plan?

Will the information you presented actually be useful to people in improving their own lives and the condition of the environment they live in?

6.  CHANGE–Did I make a difference?

Will people’s lives be improved by the presentation?

The “thought” preference for communication is something which can be related to its VALUE and its ability to CHANGE their lives by virtue of the power behind those thoughts.

The “emotion” preference for communication is something which can be related to the EXPECTATION of the audience and the RELEVANCE of the presentation to their everyday lives.

The “action” preference for communication is something which can be related to its APPLICATION.

The preference for “process” in communication, the fourth style of communication, is related to the INTEGRITY of your communication in that it determines how the presentation holds together.

Since a lot of the communication is non-verbal, it is important to create a good first impression when doing a presentation.   The next post will discuss the techniques that John Maxwell recommends for doing so.


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