Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Connecting Beyond Words (5)

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 fourth section of the chapter, John Maxwell gave tips on how to increase your ability connect with people intellectually and this requires you to know both your subject and yourself, in particular, what your preferred communication style is.   Once you know what your preference, you have to learn how to use all of the other communication styles as well, so that you can cover the preferences of everyone in your audience.

In this next section, John Maxwell gives tips on how to increase your ability connect with people emotionally.

1.  People Hear Your Attitude

The exact choice of words you use is important, but not as important as the energy, intensity and  conviction with which you use them.    Actors who are skilled can give the same words different readings that convey a whole range of different emotions, from which the director must choose the one which corresponds with his or her version of how the scene will play out in the movie.

2.  Charisma is Attitude, not Personality

John Maxwell thinks that charisma, the presence people have which cause others to be drawn to them, is not a function of one’s personality, but rather of one’s attitude.   People who have this presence are so comfortable with themselves, and have such a positive, unselfish attitude that they are able to focus all of their energy on others.     This is a very hopeful statement, because people think that charisma is just something people are born with, and if you don’t have it now, well, you’re out of luck.   No!   You just need to develop a positive attitude, which everyone can do.

How do you do this?    This is not in John Maxwell’s book, but what helped me to develop a positive attitude was a 21-day program put together by psychologist Shawn Achor.

Watch his TED talk


and then read my summary which describes his program in more detail


The next post, the last one on this third chapter, will talk about how to increase your ability to connect to people visually.


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