Thursday, July 8, 2010

Everyone Communicates Few Connect

One thing I have always told my girlfriends when giving advice about talking to the men in their family was if it is important enough to talk about, then it needs to be heard. Meaning, you have to say what you need to be heard in a way that the Martians, errrr, I mean men can understand. In their little Martian language. Face it, no one wants to walk away from a conversation and feel like they haven't been heard. This book was surprisingly beneficial to me in learning how to do that. I wondered if it would be a book geared mostly to business principles. It is, but the logic is that businesses are made up of what? guessed it- people. Learning to speak in a way that connects with a room full of people or with one special friend while sitting and having tea is something that can be learned.
John gives 5 Principles that will connect you with the listener. In truth, he teaches you cannot be selfish and be heard. Connecting is all about others (chapter 2). How very true. Connecting requires energy (chapter 4). Also true. Which is most likely why our connecting moments can be so rare.
Then John moves into 5 Practices of connecting. This is where he gives you ways to apply what you learned in the previous chapters.
My favorites about this book:
  • Little quotes in boxes scattered all over. I love quotes. I love little boxes on pages that feel like gifts within the text. These were great quotes and I am copying some into my journal.
  • Every chapter ends with a key concept. I like it when a chapter sums it up.
  • Connecting with 1 on 1 tips, with a group, and with an audience. Fantastic points and how-tos.

As an adult, I see the value of this book and I enjoyed the kick in the pants to focus and put some energy into connecting with people, those I love....those within my business world.....and those I am witnessing to. This is a fantastic tool to learn from.

I do heartily recommend the book for high school students learning to speak publically. I believe it would be a fantastic resource for a speech class or for those whose mission in life would require public speaking on any level.

Good job, John C. Maxwell. You actually took a boring subject and put it in a slightly despised category (self help) for me and gave me a good read.


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