5 Keys to Killer Communication

communicationFor the past month or so, Facebook and social media have been blowing up over Bruce/Caitlin Jenner and The Village Church because of an incident with a couple that is getting a divorce. Blogs and articles have been written about these subjects and people have voiced their opinion and bashed the people involved. People are really bad about that; especially Christians, at judging from a distance. People write these blogs and comment on things that they actually know nothing about.

We have a really good friend of ours, actually a friend of my oldest daughters who is going through a really bad divorce and moved back home with her parents and began going to The Village Church. Well, when these blogs started coming out, she started freaking out, thinking “how are they gonna treat me, will I be accepted?” She was really concerned so she did what any reasonable person should do but 99% of people don’t do. She sent an email to the church leaders asking questions and asked if she could meet with some leaders so she could as them face to face what’s going on and how it would affect her. She did what people should do. She asked questions and she met with people and she discovered it was not what the blogs portrayed it to be. In fact, she was treated with love, honor and respect. You can read about her experience here.

How many conflicts could be avoided if people actually did this more often? What if we just simply did this in every situation whether it is conflict or not? How much better would our communication be if we just followed these steps and honored and loved each other?

Before reading on, I would encourage you to read the passage from Joshua 22:1-34.

Self-Awareness

Self-awareness is your ability to know and manage yourself. It is the ability to recognize how you’re feeling and why you’re feeling that way and recognize the impact your emotions have on the thoughts and actions of yourself and others.[1]

How many of us act, think, or feel a certain way because that’s the way we think we should? How many of us act, think, or feel a certain way because that’s the way we want to be? How many of us act, think, or feel a certain way because that’s what we think others expect of us? Or how many of us deny our true feelings or opinions because we don’t think we should have them?

I can’t count the times I have been talking to someone who was obviously upset and wouldn’t admit it. When pressed they finally face up to it only to be even more upset because they shouldn’t feel that way, or they don’t want to feel that way. We are so consumed with projecting a certain image or appearing to have it all together that we deny our true selves. Only that doesn’t serve anyone and often keeps us in pain or in bondage to the “oughts” and “wannas.”

Empathy

Empathy is recognizing, understanding, and appreciating how other people feel and involves being able to articulate your understanding of another’s perspective and behaving in a way that respects others’ feelings. Empathetic people thoughtfully consider others’ feelings – along with other factors – in the process of making intelligent decisions.[2]

Empathy is the ability to non-judgmentally put into words your understanding of the other person’s perspective on the world, even if you do not agree with it, or even if you find that perspective ridiculous. It is the capacity to tune in to what someone else might be thinking and feeling about a situation—regardless of how that view might differ from your own perception. Being empathic shifts an adversarial relationship to a collaborative relationship. [3]

Philippians 2:3–4 (ESV)

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

Listening

smartphone-982559_1920To be empathetic, you must be socially present and remove distractions—especially the ones inside your head. These internal distractions are much like clutter in your garage or closet—there’s useful stuff in there, but it’s crowded and hard to get to what you need. The solution: clear away the clutter.

First, we all have conversations and chatter going on inside our heads; we talk to ourselves constantly. We’re so busy having these internal chats that we tune the outside world out—which is counterproductive to social awareness. The second culprit is a process where we form our responses while the person we’re talking with is still in fact talking. This, too, is counterproductive—it’s tough to listen to yourself and the other person fully. We need to realize that listening requires focus, and focus isn’t easy because we’re stretched in several directions. When someone is talking to you, stop everything else and listen fully until the other person is finished speaking. [4]

Humility

Philippians 2:3–4 (ESV)

Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

In order to have killer communication we need to humbly listening to what the other person is saying and take responsibility for any and all misunderstanding. Be the first to apologize and serve the other person in your communication. Adjust your communication (speaking AND listening) to the other person’s personality, culture, gender, and baggage. Everyone could benefit from pursuing honest self-assessment to recognize your own baggage, emotion, and personality to manage how they filter information and influence and possibly damage communication

All in all humility is choosing to honor and respect the other person

Romans 12:10 (ESV)

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Trust

According to McCall and Hollenbeck (2002, p. 35), a person who is culturally sensitive respects other cultures, people, and points of view; is not arrogant and judgmental; is empathetic; and gets along well with others. Honesty and integrity speaks of a person being authentic, consistent and engendering trust.

Patrick Lencioni writes about the importance of vulnerability. According to Lencioni, vulnerability is one of the most undervalued and misunderstood of all human qualities. Without the willingness to be vulnerable, we will not build deep and lasting relationships in life. That’s because there is no better way to earn a person’s trust than by putting ourselves in a position of unprotected weakness and demonstrating that we believe they will support us.[5]

Authentic people are trusted. They do what they say they will do. They look at themselves honestly. They tell the truth. They have core values that are translated into actions congruent with their identity.[6]

Trust is something you must earn from another while seeking to give it to them freely

Above all, choose to love.

1 Corinthians 13:4–7 (ESV)

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things.


[1] Stein, Steven J.; Book, Howard E. (2011-03-31). The EQ Edge: Emotional Intelligence and Your Success (Kindle Locations 762-766). Wiley. Kindle Edition.

[2] Goleman, Daniel (2011). Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence.  Northampton, MA: More Than Sound LLC.

[3] Stein & Book, 2011

[4] Bradberry, Travis; Jean Greaves (2009). Emotional Intelligence 2.0. Perseus Books Group. Kindle Edition.

[5] Lencioni, Patrick. (2010). Getting Naked. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

[6] Heuerman, T. & Olson, D. (1999). Leading in chaos. Pamphlet 23.




Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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7 thoughts on “5 Keys to Killer Communication

  1. Your point is well taken. We ASSUME so much, judge too quickly too. You have some great points here and worth thinking and talking about. Coming over from Michael Hyatt’s post and glad to find you.