Book Review: Everybody Communicates, Few Connect
John Maxwell attempts to demystify communication principles in a way that enable people to actually make a connection. He focuses on a range of audience considerations, investigating how to communicate one-on-one, in small groups, and with a large audience. The book features two sections around principles and practices of connecting. The main principles of connecting involve realizing that connection is not fundamentally about you; the main practices of connecting involve concrete actions.
Overall, I found the book to be accessible and about as interesting as a book on communication can be. I wasn’t looking abundantly forward to reading this book, but Maxwell did a solid job at presenting some fairly new ideas. In particular, his discussion about the role of simplicity in communication stuck with me. As an academic, it’s my job to appreciate the nuances of complex phenomena; but it is equally my job to make the topic transparent. Additionally, I picked up some valuable insights about why it is a bad idea to retreat immediately after class. Connection with my students needs to be about them.
This book isn’t a book for everyone. If people constantly praise your connection skills, you’re probably not going to get a lot out of the content. Yet, it is a clear presentation of accessible pointers for connecting if you are the type of person that has some more difficulties.