Effective communication is a priority for every organization and team. It is also a great challenge. Communicating with intention, purpose, and skill requires a great deal of diligence.
The ancients describe the tongue as, “a restless evil, full of deadly poison.” Our tongues can be unpredictable and impulsive. If we do not discipline the way we communicate, we can speak words that help us connect and collaborate with others, or we can speak words that cause confusion or even conflict.
It is vitally important to understand that disciplined communication means a great deal more than just “don’t use harsh and abrasive language.” It includes those prohibitions, yes, but the intent of effective communication is much broader and deeper—our speaking should be wise, skillful, and powerful.
Here are three questions to ask yourself:
- Do you communicate wisely?
Do your words reflect principles and standards? Do you understand your audience? Do you see what you need to say, how to say it, and when? Do you adjust and adapt to different audiences? Do you know when to be quiet and not say anything?
- Do you communicate skillfully?
Are you clear, concise, and effective in the way you communicate? Do people hear and understand what you say?
- Do you communicate with power?
Are you compelling? Is the way you communicate energizing to others? Do you engage hearts and minds in a way that motivates people to action? Do you recognize those times when the most powerful thing you can do is care and listen?
May we manage our tongues and say no to impulsive outbursts.
May we discipline ourselves to speak wisely, skillfully, and powerfully.