Weekly Thought – September 4, 2018
Fred spent his entire life studying communication. He learned from men in all areas, including business, arts, preaching, and medical practice. He was a lifelong learner focusing his attention on principles which he incorporated into his business and professional life, as well as his Christian lay experiences.
On September 1st Fred would have been 103. We are thankful his influence continues and we thank you for your ongoing support.
Discipline of Communication
Every leaders spends a good part of the day in communication. A good many books are written on the how-to rules of communication, but the real problem is the spirit, not the techniques. Almost any two people who want to talk together can. Often people who are unable to converse successfully are hindered by their desire to impress, not express.
Motivation largely depends on communication and the difference between a good team and a great one is the element of inspired motivation. The difference between a poor team and a good one is generally selection and organization. Any organization with the capability of moving to good can take the next step to great with the proper understanding and use of effective motivation.
Most leaders are adequate talkers, but inadequate listeners. The ability to listen creatively and positively depends on the ability to listen on four levels: 1) the meaning of the words, 2) the choice of words, 3) the sounds of the words, and 4) the sight of the words. Most people listen negatively which is akin to staying silent while reloading while the other is shooting. Positive 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.
Reading body language, seeing what is between the lines, and the ability to grasp the “question behind the question” as one business consultant puts it are all factors in effective listening. In our culture, talking over with a testy, combative attitude has become the acceptable behavior. Listening quietly signals lack of opinion and power, rather than denoting thoughtfulness and interest.
Communication is mistakenly confused with agreement. I often hear people say our political and relational problems would be solved if we really understood what the other one was saying. Not so. In fact, if we really understood what the other was saying we might see we have even deeper disagreements.
Hearing and understanding the words, intent, and purpose are critical to communication, but not synonymous with agreement and concord.
This week think about: 1) What is my strongest communication skill? 2) How often do I think communication automatically moves toward agreement? 3) When do I struggle being a good listener?
Words of Wisdom: “Listening quietly signals lack of opinion and power, rather than denoting thoughtfulness and interest.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters! Let every person be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger.” (James 1:19 NET Bible)