Weekly Thought – May 28, 2019
Fred knew his gifting included communication. His life verse was a paraphrase given to him by an evangelist when he was a teenager… “Take the gift God has given you, and use it, and you will stand before great men.” (Proverbs 18:16) He worked his entire life honing his skills, stewarding his gift, and using them well.
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Discipline of Communication
Every leader spends a great deal of the day communicating. Many books are written on the techniques, but the emphasis should be on the spirit, not just on the technique. The why, and the who are essential to creating an effective strategy for how and when. If two people want to talk together, it is almost impossible to fail. One of the hindrances to effective communication is the self-centered motivation. Too many are influenced by their desire to impress, not express.
My friend Zig Ziglar speaks before great audiences inspiring and motivating healthy action. When building teams it is essential to understand how to use communication to the highest degree. Jim Collins wrote about going from “good to great” in your organization. Having properly, genuinely motivated employees is a benefit of good communication.
Most leaders are adequate talkers, but inadequate listeners. The ability to listen creatively and positively depends on the leader’s skill development on four levels: 1) the meaning of the words. Often vocabulary is an evidence of experience, education, and background; 2) the choice of words. I have friends with impeccable word usage. They have a wide, diverse repertoire which allows them to be very specific; 3) the sounds of the words. Words are emotionally charged. We can pick up what is going on just by hearing the tone, and rhythm; 4) the sight of the words. I would say this falls into the body language category. What we say is actually seen in our bodily reactions. When we think we are not communicating, our bodies are sending messages.
Most people listen negatively which is simply keeping silent, or reloading while the other one is shooting. Acquiring the skills of active listening guides the talker both in the giving of facts and a display of emotion which permits the listener to evaluate on more than a surface level.
An important point I want to make: communication is mistakenly confused with agreement. I often hear people comment about the solution to all relationship, management, and social problems is “communication.” The emphasis on talking with each other is the answer which will bring agreement. NOT SO! In my experience there are times that fully understanding what the other person is saying brings more disagreement and conflict. Listening, hearing, and understanding are critical to communication but not synonymous with agreement and concord.
This week think about: 1) How well am I doing with communicating to express, not impress? 2) Which of the listening skills is my strength, weakness? 3) What comes to mind as a communication goal this week?
Words of Wisdom: “We should speak to express, not impress.”
Wisdom from the Word: “A wise person’s heart makes his speech wise and it adds persuasiveness to his words.” (Proverbs 16:23 NET Bible)