Book Review: Everyone Communicates, Few Connect
Written by Writer and Author, William Ballard
In Everyone Communicates, Few Connect (AFF), Maxwell shares Five Principles and Five Practices to develop the crucial skill of connecting, which include:
The ability to not only communicate with others, but to actually connect with them is a major determining factor in reaching your full potential. It's no secret! Connecting is a skill you can learn and apply in your personal, professional, and family relationships. However, I would have to insert my own personal opinion, and that is I do not believe that everyone communicates as the title of this book portrays.
I believe that their are many who do not communicate at all or communicate very poorly. So, in my personal opinion, it is writing out of the assumption that everyone communicates, however, I ask the question, "How can John Maxwell speak for everyone?" There is a quote that I have given many times that states, "Communication is all about making sense", not everyone makes sense when they communicate, nor do they connect when they communicate.
I say all that to say this, I do recommend this book and I think that it will add value to whomever reads it, but I think the title of the book is wrong and written based off assumptions, so with that in mind, let us carry on.
First off, contrary to my initial thought, this is not a textbook on communicating effectively, necessarily, or about preaching. Does this book help those who preach? You better believe it does! There are a handful of tips within the first three chapters alone that will equip and challenge any preacher to do a better job of connecting with his or her congregation. One of the great reminders that Maxwell makes is that even those who connect best can learn to connect better.
Just like in many of Maxwell's books, there are times where he may seem to be tooting his own horn, but don't read into that too much. He goes on to share numerous examples of his failures and immaturities early on in his ministry and life. Honestly, through his transparency about his own immaturity, I better connected (pun) myself to the book as well as to him.
Secondly, this book is thoroughly practical. It is practical for preachers, public speakers, and the everyday person who desires to better relate with people, such as at home or on the job. There are many underlying implications in the book such as...
In this books later chapters, Maxwell focuses on the practicality of Connecting. Speaking of practicalities, Maxwell motivates and encourages the reader to strive to connect better with those that he is trying to build strong long lasting relationship with.
Despite previously reading some of Maxwell's leadership books, I did begin reading this book with a more theological perspective and/or angel and I quickly realized that Maxwell is writing to motivate and equip people to connect better. Therefore he writes from a process or step-by-step perspective. It is important that ministers understand that by God's grace alone you will not connect better with people. You need action and practical application.
3 thoughts that quickly came to mind when reading through the book:
A major highlight of the book is the guide at the end of each chapter that explores connecting one-on-one, in a group, and in a audience. This is a book that everyone needs to read and to practice, but the reality is only a few readers will implement these practices and principles in his or her own daily life.
One area he did not touch on is the need to disconnect from our media, such as cell phones, TV, Facebook, Twitter and the numerous other outlets that are causing us to lose the idea of personal presence and how that helps us connect with others on a very powerful level.
Other Book Reviews of John Maxwell's Work:
Book Review: The 360 Degree Leader
Book Review: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership
Book Review: The 5 Levels of Leadership