Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: Connecting Requires Energy

This fourth chapter of the book “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” by John Maxwell covers the fourth principle of connection, namely, “Connecting Always Requires Energy.”    The reason why this particular chapter is important to me is because I am, by nature, an introvert.    This means that the process of going and interacting with people is something which requires energy.    Extroverts gain energy by going and interacting with people, and so I thought that they had the natural advantage when it came to connection.    However, John Maxwell shows that interaction with others is not the same as connection.    You can interact with others in a way that is totally self-centered which does not connect with others.

In this first post, John Maxwell specifies what the phrase “connecting requires energy” really means.

1.  Four Unpardonable Sins of a Communicator

John Maxwell’s professor in college once presented a list of the “Four Unpardonable Sins of a Communicator”, which were being

  • Unprepared
  • Uncommitted
  • Uninteresting
  • Uncomfortable

Overcoming the first three require advance preparation, and thus require effort or energy.

2.  10 Tips for Minglers

Another list that John Maxwell presents is that of communication coach Susan RoAne, author of the book “How to Work a Room,” who lists the following 10 tips for those who want to learn to mingle in a crowd and connect with others.

  1. Possess the ability to make others feel comfortable.
  2. Appear to be confident and at ease.
  3. Have an ability to laugh at themselves (not at others).
  4. Show interest in others; they maintain eye contact, self-disclose, ask questions, and actively learn
  5. Extend themselves to others; they lean into a greeting with a firm handshake and a smile
  6. Convey a sense of energy and enthusiasm–a joie de vivre
  7. Are well-rounded, well-informed, and well-mannered
  8. Prepare vignettes or stories of actual occurrences that are interesting, humorous, and appropriate
  9. Introduce people to each other with an infectious enthusiasm (there is no other kind) that motivates conversation between the introducees
  10. Convey respect and genuinely like people–the core of communicating

Seven out of these 10 tips require energy, which requires focused attention.

In the next post, John Maxwell presents the first of five proactive ways to use energy for connecting.   Connecting requires initiative, so you need to go first.


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