"Blessed is she, who has believed, that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished." Luke 1:45

Monday, June 14, 2010

Communication ~ Guest post by Susan H. Lawrence

Here is another great offering from my friend, Susan. Enjoy!


Each of us is impacted by our past experiences, family, health, education, relationships, and much more. Consider everything and everyone who has impacted your life from teachers to friends to coworkers to ministers. Jot as many as you can in one minute.

Each time we communicate, we bring our background with us. We use it to make sense of what we’re saying. Others bring different background to their communications. We may have some similarities, but no two people’s lives are exactly the same, and no two people will communicate in exactly the same way. We filter what we say and what we hear. So every time you say something, it goes through two filters: yours and the person’s to whom you’re talking. Every time you hear something, it goes through two filters: yours and the person’s who is speaking to you.

Understanding our filters helps us understand our communications better.

Consider a situation in which you made an assumption that was later proved to be inaccurate about someone.

If one assumption you’re made has been proven inaccurate, consider the possibility than any assumption you make about people might be inaccurate. We hear and give information based on our filters. But our filters aren’t purely clean. Our experiences, relationships, and attitudes clog our screens…and the screens of people we’re communicating with. That’s why we sometimes think someone said something they didn’t say or insist they didn’t tell us something when they actually did.

Being aware of your filters means acknowledging the possibility there’s been a miscommunication. When there’s a miscommunication, who’s responsible?

There are at least two people involved in communication. Both have filters. Does it really matter who’s right and who’s wrong when there’s a miscommunication? If the goal is communication, and communication isn’t complete or effective, strive to focus on the goal-communication- instead of getting stuck in a blame game.

No one should accuse or blame another person. Don't blame the people, you priests, when they quarrel with you.  Hosea 4:4

We can’t assume everyone shares our experiences. It can be frustrating to start at the beginning to explain something to someone when we just want to move on, but again, if the goal is communication, and communication isn’t complete or effective, we need to strive to focus on the goal, communication, instead of getting stuck focusing on our filters, who should already know what, how much time we need to take to explain something, etc. Building relationships with healthy communication is always worth time and effort.

Here’s my list of communication tips:

       No one is a mind-reader. If you want or expect someone to know something, tell them.
 Take a breath before speaking. Once it’s spoken, you can’t swallow it.
 Communication will fail. Do your best, but know it’s not foolproof.
 Communication is not avoidable. You can be quiet, but you’re still communicating.
 Communication assumes…based on past experiences, relationships, and personality.
 Communication involves relationship. It’s not just about you, your intentions, and your goals.

How will you reflect God in your communication?

It will not really be you speaking but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you. 
Matthew 10:20

Adapted from Pure Purpose by Susan H. Lawrence. Check out Susan’s blog at http://purepurposebook.wordpress.com/ and follow Pure Purpose on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/PurePurposeFB

1 comment:

Lisa notes... said...

Such great insights. I think I should tweet some of the communication tips from Susan. :-) Good stuff. Thanks for sharing.