The Necessary Commitments To Effective Communcation
“Can You Hear Me Now?”
The Necessary Commitments To Effective Communication
“Can you hear me now?” If you can’t hear or understand me, communication is impossible!
Communication is the oil that lubricates the engine of relationships, without it everything grinds to a halt.
Unresolved conflict, not conflict, acts like termites in a relationship. Quietly, and imperceptibly, it can bring down great oaks!
We are working on a series of messages entitled “Can You Hear Me Now?” We are working on effective communication, active listening, and conflict resolution. These skills can help us develop meaningful relationships, whether we believe in them or not. We can no longer wait until our hearts get right. Let’s take effective action, while we’re repenting and waiting on God.
(Listed are the Roman Numerals we’ve already covered.)
I. INTENT VERSUS IMPACT.
II. BIBLICAL BASIS.
III. CONFLICT: A POSITIVE CHALLENGE.
IV. KNOWING YOURSELF.
V. RESPONSES THAT INHIBIT ENCOURAGEMENT.
VI. NONVERBAL MESSAGES.
VII. BLOCKS TO ATTENDING.
IX. I MESSAGES VERSUS YOU MESSAGES.
(The following positive commitments are prerequisites to effective communication.)
A commitment to communicate until you are mutually satisfied.
(Communication tends to go in spiraling, ever smaller, concentric circles, covering much of what has already been discussed and then branching off in a new line of discussion because of one new item of information.)
A commitment to suspend judgment until understanding is evident.
(A commitment to be open to new ideas.)
A commitment to disagree agreeably.
A commitment to accept the other person’s emotions.
A commitment to get help when we are not working through a problem.
A commitment to eliminate having to determine the facts.
(Facts are known by God only. I have my perception of the facts, which is fact to me. And you have your perception of the facts, which is fact to you. The only way we can hear each other and compromise is to realize that neither one of us is perfect, omniscient, nor infallible. Of course the closer you are to the Word of God, which is fact; the closer you are to the facts. But even then we are dealing with our perception of the Word of God. No one has to be more accurate. We can deal with both perceptions and try to understand one another.
Some people think that I am saying there are no facts. They think I am advocating complete subjectivity. They think that I am advocating liberal theology that advocates experience over the authority of the Word of God. Well, I am not. A knowledge of Christ is both: objective--based on historical events, and subjective--experienced internally by the believer (Moody Handbook of Theology, pg. 561). The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to know enough of the facts of the Word of God to be saved, and then continually reveals more and more truth to us as we grow. But at no point in this life can we say that we know all the truth or perceive all the truth that we have accurately.
When one of us wins, both of us lose. This also eliminates anyone being a liar. Each person is telling the truth to the best of his perception, point of view, evaluation and ability.)
A commitment to be lovingly honest.
A commitment to accept and believe what the other person is telling you.
(Next I want to introduce a model for handling interpersonal conflict, but before I do; I want to establish some ground rules for communication during conflict.)
XI. GROUND RULES.
A. No one may dominate conversation or jump from subject to subject.
B. No one may interrupt the other person (each person will be allowed to complete his/her thought.)
C. Before you can speak you must acknowledge that you have heard the other person. You may do this by saying something to the effect of “I heard you;” “I can relate to that;” “I can understand that.”
D. Before you can speak you must acknowledge that you have heard the other person or clarify what you have heard. Start this process with one of these phrases: “I understood you to say...” “Are you saying that...” “Are you saying that you feel...”
E. Respond to feelings first by accepting them, then respond to thoughts.
F. No name calling, put-downs, character assassination, etc. You cannot change another person by direct action.
G. Main goals: listen, understand, relate to, love, resolve the conflict.
(Now is the Day of Salvation! Come to Jesus, Now!)
Call to Discipleship