Everyone Communicates, Few Connect

My employee twisted the phone receiver away from her ear. From three feet away, I heard the machine-gun sounds of our area supervisor’s voice.
After the call ended, I patted the case worker’s shoulder. “I’ll talk to her.”
For the past three months, I had started each work day by convincing my employees not to quit. When I left for the afternoon, our area supervisor reamed them out over the phone. The cycle would not end unless I could convince the supervisor to change her approach.
I made the awkward call to confront someone outranking me. She denied yelling. Rather than deception, I believed her response indicated a lack of self-awareness. She had no idea her communication style offended and discouraged the staff. Using a gentle tone, I appealed to her strengths and outlined the need to work on speech volume and speed. She didn’t intend to create low morale or high turnover. But if no one had helped her recognize it, she would never have understood her role in the problem.
Has anyone responded to you with a blank stare? Do you ever feel misunderstood or disconnected? John C. Maxwell refers to this as “cemetery communication: lots of people are out there, but no one is listening.”
We all experience moments of communication failure. We intend to convey a message, but others don’t seem to receive it. The problem lies not in our words, but our ability to connect.
Everyone Communicates, Few Connect illuminates the vital role of effective communication. In addition to employee morale and retention, the book lists many reasons why connection matters to a variety of relationships. Maxwell notes, “No matter what your goals are, connecting can help you.” When our interpersonal style demonstrates how much we value and care for others, our influence increases. The concept applies to all interpersonal relationships, not just leadership roles. Each chapter ends with tips for applying connection principles to individual conversations, group discussions, and speaking before audiences.
Even those who feel socially inept can cultivate interpersonal skills to optimize their impact. Maxwell quotes Ralph Waldo Emerson, who stated, “All great speakers were bad speakers first.” Like any endeavor we aspire to perform with excellence, successful communication requires preparation and practice. The second half of the book lists practical tips for improving communication skills. Connection requires a common-ground mindset, for which Maxwell notes, “connecting is a choice.”
Everyone Communicates presents the steps to effective connection with others in a straightforward style. Not only does the author’s clarity help readers understand and apply these steps, but also sets forth a model for communicators to emulate. He dedicates an entire chapter to the importance of simplicity.
Throughout the book’s pages, Maxwell demonstrates the conversational, storytelling technique he recommends. Humorous anecdotes flavor the information to make it both palatable and memorable.
Everyone Communicates concludes with the core aspect of integrity, a trait John Maxwell exudes all along. The message shines through with a personal, heart-to-heart style. I’ve underlined and starred too many passages to quote, and I look forward to learning more from the leadership expert.
Check out this insightful communication book on Amazon or on John Maxwell’s website. Let me know what you think. I’d love to read your favorite quotes from any of the books in the Maxwell library.
Be Encouraged,
Tina

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