Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Connecting Beyond Words (4)

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 the second 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.

INTEGRITY–Did I do my best?

EXPECTATION–Did I please my sponsor or my audience?

RELEVANCE–Did I understand and relate to the audience?

VALUE–Did I add value to the people?

APPLICATION–Did I give people a game plan?

CHANGE–Did I make a difference?

In the third section of the chapter, John Maxwell gave tips on how to increase your ability to connect with people visually.

1.  Eliminate Personal Distractions

2.  Expand Your Range of Expression

3.  Move with a Sense of Purpose

4.  Maintain an Open Posture

5.  Pay Attention to Your Surroundings

In the following fourth section of the chapter, John Maxwell gave tips on how to increase your ability connect with people intellectually and

1.   Know Your Subject

Know your subject.   You have to speak from personal experience with the subject matter, or else the speech will not seem sincere or authentic.    You have to know the material so well that you can speak without notes.

When I first was writing about project management on my blog, I was doing it from a standpoint of having studied for and passed the certification exam.    I knew the subject intellectually.    But gradually, as I used project management for my own personal projects, as well as using it for planning purposes for Toastmasters, and then at my volunteer work for the Project Management Institute, I wrote from a deeper place of personal experience.   Project management was no longer just a subject, but a vocation and a way of life.


2.  Know Yourself

It is not just WHAT your are saying that is important, but you also have to be able to express it in such a way that it will connect with the audience.    This means that if you are a mathematically inclined person, like I am, you may have to explain a technical subject to a non-technical audience, which means you may not be able to rely on your preferred style of explication, namely, using equations or mathematical symbols.   You may have to explain it using pictures or stories that people can relate to.    When Albert Einstein introduced his Theory of Special Relativity in 1905 to a scientific audience, he used equations.   But when he was trying to introduce the subject to a non-technical audience, he used images involving riding trains, something that was part of the everyday experience of his audience.

The next part of the chapter deals with how to connect with people emotionally, and that is the subject of the next post.


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