Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Listen To This:

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One of my favorite Charlie Brown lessons is where adults speak to various members of the "Peanuts Gang" and although words are being spoken by the adults, the kids hear this: "Wa-wah, wah-wa-wa-wah, wah-wa-wa-wah."

Communication yes, but effective communication?

Communication is not just about public speaking. It's about motivation, teaching, encouraging, and discipline; to spouses, children, parents, friends, collogues, teammates, employees, students, and bosses.

I believe that effective communication involves four key factors: The right word, at the right time, to the right audience, for the right reason. If we master these, we will be heard.
  • The right Word - I am sometimes intrigued by communicators who simply let words fly without considering how effective those words are. I know of a world-renowned pastor who is so driven to effective communication that he once spent the entire flight time between London and Chicago choosing the three best words for the title of his Sunday teaching.
  • The right Time - Have you ever been discouraged by good words delivered at the wrong time? You hit a home run and your coach tells you to extend your arms more. You have an auto accident and your parents ask you if you were texting while driving. Good words, but don't expect to remember what was said.
  • The right Audience - It is important to consider the who as much as the what in effective communication. Is what you are communicating truly something that will benefit those with whom you are communicating? How are they hearing you? If you have the attention of the audience (whether it be one person or a thousand), craft your content in such a way as to be heard and received.
  • The right Reason - Some people communicate because they have a reason to. They desire to enhance, encourage, and influence those they communicate with. Others simply like to hear themselves talk (bosses, parents, Facebook posters). As a youth pastor, I would cringe when a parent would make statements like this to their teen in my presence, "I wish my son would keep his room clean." I promise you, the kid did not leave that encounter with a burning desire to clean his room.
Communication is an art:
  • Choose the words and language that paint the most relatable picture.
  • Choose the time and setting for the most remembered counsel.
  • Choose the subject and content for the most receivable input.
  • Choose the purpose and motivation for the most redeemable outcome.
Question: What have you found to be effective keys to communication? Share your thoughts below in comments.

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