Monday, February 23, 2009

Day 20 - How to Be Truly Heard

Earlier this week, Tom Holladay gave us three things to do to improve our communication with others:
  1. Build Trust
  2. Watch your heart
  3. Be honest

In Chapter 20, Tom lists three more techniques that Jesus used when speaking with others.

1. Jesus Touched Those He Healed

We know from Matthew 8, that Jesus didn't need to come in contact with someone to heal them. At his command, he could heal people even miles away. Had Jesus only been looking to be glorified, he could have done all of the healings this way and people would have been in awe of his power. But Jesus chose to touch the people he healed as an act of genuine kindness and concern.

2. Jesus Used Questions to Challenge

On many occasions, Jesus would challenge his disciples with questions. When Jesus asked Peter, "who do you say I am?" it was to get Peter's attention, not a need for personal affirmation. Questions can be natural attention getters. They cause us to think (or at least they should) before we respond.

3. Jesus Used Pictures to Communicate New Truth

When Jesus wanted to make a point, he often used parables to relate the discussion to something everyone was familiar with. By making that connection, he was better able to be heard and understood. Relating difficult subject matter to something we can all relate to is still applicable today. Not that many years ago, Ross Perot ran an entire presidential campaign by trying to simplify the issues down to stories the people could relate too.

Many of our communication difficulties could be alleviated if we all took the time to try harder to heard rather than bemoaning the fact that no one listens. I know that I often grow frustrated because I feel I have not been listened to. But I can also say that I probably didn't do enough to make sure I was heard. Hopefully I will apply the lessons learned here today when I want to be heard in the future.

Day 21 - Troubleshooting Communication

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