Book Review – Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently

I have now forgotten where I saw the reference to “Everyone Communicates, Few Connect” by John Maxwell, but it intrigued me enough that I downloaded a copy to my Kindle and I read it over a number of weeks in tiny bite sized chunks on the bus to work in the morning.

I hated reading this book, every chapter was a real struggle to get through.  If I had read the Amazon reviews first I probably wouldn’t have bought it, but that’s the downside of buying straight from the Kindle and not checking out a book properly before clicking on the Buy button.

So why do I dislike this book so much?  It’s the style of writing, which is far too American for my taste.  An Amazon reviewer sums it up far better than I can with “way too much unnecessary verbiage, name dropping and the authors self serving “aren’t I clever” prose and anecdotes masked by occassional and thinly veiled self deprecation” (full review).  I also thought this was going to be a business book and was therefore put off by nearly all the anecdotes being in relation to the author’s work as a pastor, for someone who is not religious it was too much.

However I persevered with the book because it does contain some useful material buried within it.  I don’t think there was anything in Part – Connecting Principles that I didn’t already know. That’s not being big-headed, just because I know doesn’t mean I am putting it into practice, however simple things such as body language being important was not news to me.  Part 2 on Connecting Practice is probably more interesting.  The chapter on connecting through common ground is interesting, reminding us not to take for granted what we think others know and feel.  Also the chapter on making connecting an enjoyable experience made me think, there is a lot of work for me to put in to make legal research training more enjoyable!

One aspect of this book I really do like is the summary at the end of each chapter, there are each split into connecting with an individual, connecting with a group and connecting with an audience. These summaries are probably the most useful part of the book.

My dislike of this book is a purely personal reaction to its”self-help” style, if it suits you then don’t be put off and give it a go but maybe borrow it from the library or buy second-hand as I am not convinced it’s worth the price.