The Key to Better Communication

Oct 7, 2010, Written by Sue Miley

People talk.  Noise comes out of our mouths.  Are we saying anything?

Are we communicating to people we love them?  Do we try to make sure our messages are clear?  Do we communicate with purpose and compassion?

In our personal lives, in our business world, in the church?

With the advent and momentum of social media more words are delivered, it seems, then ever before, but are we communicating any better?

As a manager I spent so much time playing referee between employees and departments.  I felt like a translator, yet everyone was speaking English.

As a counselor and coach, I can listen to two people talk and catch myself saying “What I think she is trying to say” or “What he means is..”.

I have personally been ignored and/or misunderstood on many occasions.  Have you?

We spend so much time spewing words I wonder how much time we spend on deciding which words to use? Which form of communication to use?

A World With Better Communication

I believe if we took the time to improve our communication we would have…

….more people knowing how truly loved they are.

….less conflict over misunderstanding with no substantive disagreement.

….better job performance because we understood the expectations.

….better job performance because we felt appreciated or needed.

….improved marriages because we realized we were on the same team.

….better conversations because they had intent and purpose.

….less betrayal.

….less anger.

….more intimacy.

….more love.

The benefits are immeasurable.

There are many courses and books on improving communication skills.  There are techniques and tricks.  There is communicating by personality type and by setting.  We talk in person, on the phone, or in writing.  Our words speak, our expressions deliver, our body language asserts and our eyes convey.

What is missing? With so much miscommunication, omission, manipulation we see a world of poor performance, hurt feelings, and at it’s worst, retaliation.

I think there is much to learn from books and seminars.  I believe communication is so important that we should take the time to learn, plan, and perfect our approach.

But I believe the main missing link and the place to start is the heart.  If only we could take down our walls of protection, eliminate our justification and righteousness, and let our heart do it’s job.

If Our Heart is Doing It’s Job

If our heart is doing it’s job, I believe…

…we will spend the necessary time making sure we are clear about what we want to communicate

…we will be open, honest and forthright

…we will approach as we would want to be approached

…we would seek God in our heart and our words

…we would follow-up

…we would make sure the recipients really understood what we were trying to communicate

…we would be humble

…we would be direct

…we would speak, even when it was hard

…we would speak-up, even if we didn’t agree

…we would be respectful regardless of the circumstance

If our heart is doing it’s job, I believe…

…we would communicate out of Godly love!

Communication is a Two-Way Street

If our heart is doing it’s job, as communicators we will know it is also our job to LISTEN.

To listen without interrupting.

To listen without trying to figure out our rebuttal.

To listen putting ourselves in the other person’s shoes.

We would listen to understand.

We would listen because we care.

We would listen out of respect.

Jesus tells us to love God and to love our neighbors as we love ourselves.  I think when we are doing this we communicate better.

What Comes First, the Chicken or the Egg?

Many have told me they are just responding to the other person.  I personally have taken my eye off of God and spoken from my flesh.  My husband would say I need to practice the listening thing better….even if the story is long and winding.

And, I know we all could use a dose of the Holy Spirit’s fruit of patience.

But I would challenge us not to wait until the rest of our world communicates better to us.  Let’s do our part.  Let’s help reduce misunderstandings.  Let’s hold others accountable in a direct, tactful and compassionate way.  Let’s set expectations clearly and with no agenda.  Let’s call a spade a spade and let’s forgive and move on.

Talk to God first.  Speak from your heart.

Let’s change the world…one conversation at a time.

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. Marcus Goodyear says

    “If our heart is doing it’s job, as communicators we will know it is also our job to LISTEN.”

    Yes, Sue! If I had to sum up the purpose of TheHighCalling.org in one word this is it: Listen.

    So many blogs online, so much noise, so many people clammering to be heard. We believe it is our calling to listen as much as possible, and share what we are hearing with the community. I’m hopeful that our new site will help us move in that direction.

  2. L.L. Barkat says

    Great to meet you. I popped over from TheHighCalling.org.

    The interesting thing about listening is that it takes different forms. My dad knows I’m listening if I talk back. If I do the same with certain others, I lose points big-time. What I find difficult is trying to make the switch when I need to. It doesn’t come naturally at all.

    • S_Miley says

      Hi L.L., it is good to meet you too. i have loved TheHighCalling.org. Wonderful writers and true community. Your comment about your Dad is funny. I try to tell my husband that my talking back, well sometimes it could be interrupting, is just because I am listening, interested and engaged. Sometimes he doesn’t by it though. Being a counselor has helped me to improve my listening skills though. Thanks for coming by and commenting!!

    • S_Miley says

      Hey David,
      I was super excited and so appreciative. Actually, my comment was how I felt. The posts I read at High Calling are all really well done – I was honored. Thanks again.

      Sue

  3. R. McCarthy says

    This was interesting.

    My husband is getting frustrated with a co-worker because he’s leaving the backstock room a mess and he has to come in and straighten it out before he does his actual job. This keeps him hours behind schedule. He complained to me about the situation and I told him to tell his boss. He said, he was going to tell his boss and ask for a meeting with the 3 of them and get this straightened out.

    Thanks for the Bible perspective. It sounds like were following God’s plan for peace.

    • S_Miley says

      Hi Ruth, I think that was good advice. I know conflict is difficult, but approaching it with integrity and focusing on the issue, not the person, will produce fruit!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.

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