Weekly Thought – May 31, 2016
Fred’s interest in communication allowed him to develop friendships with other great communicators. Zig Ziglar once said, “Listen to what Fred Smith says about listening, communicating, and understanding. Apply his insights to your daily dealings and you will be amazed at the astounding transformation that takes place in the people you want to motivate to new levels of performance.”
We are approaching 100 men and women who have joined Breakfast With Fred Leadership Institute teams on Christian campuses. This intergenerational ministry is built on listening in order to begin conversations and create connections.
Every leader spends a good part of the day communicating with others. A great many books have been written on techniques of good communication, but the real problem is the spirit, not the method. Attitude is often the barrier. Almost any two people who want to can talk together. The emphasis on open lines of communication hides a deeper problem. Often people who are unable to communicate find that they are hindered by their desire to impress, not express.
Motivation largely depends on communications, and the difference between a poor team and a good one is generally selection and organization. The difference between a good team and a great one is motivation. Any organization with the ability to get to good can move to great with the proper motivation. And nothing motivates quite like effective communication.
Most leaders are adequate talkers, but inadequate listeners. The ability to listen creatively and positively depends on the leader’s 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 simply keeping silent or reloading while the other is shooting. Positive listening guides the talker both in the giving of facts and a display of emotion that permit the listener to evaluate on more than a surface level.
Communication is mistakenly confused with agreement. I often hear people say that all problems would be solved if we really heard and understood each other. Not so! In fact, if we really understood what the other truly was saying, we might have increased disagreement. We talk around subjects in order to avoid points of disagreement. Hearing and understanding are critical to communication, but not synonymous with agreement and concord.
This week think about: 1) How good am I at listening? 2) What is my greatest communication strength? Weakness? 3) Who is a model for listening skills?
Words of Wisdom: “Often people who are unable to communicate find that they are hindered by their desire to impress, not express.”
Wisdom from the Word: “The one who gives an answer before he listens— that is his folly and his shame.” (Proverbs 18:13 NET Bible)