Seeds of Promise Series by Shenica Graham
Maximizing Ministry Part V
Twelve C’s of Communication For Ministry Leaders
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Relationships are so important to ministry building. You have heard that adage that people do not care how much you know until they know how much you care. Caring is communicated through more than hugs. Our demeanor, how we carry ourselves, the words we speak and even our posture can tell others about our caring nature.
In today’s instant society, we have everything from instant messaging to instant potatoes – not that everybody likes them. But in the technology world, we should embrace the tools that are available and expedient to reach the world and help build those all important relationships. Utilize email, voice messaging, video conferencing, instant and text messaging and other multi-media. Re-inventing the wheel can give you bragging rights and a headache. Learn to capitalize on the tools being used by the people you need to communicate with. This is the same as meeting them where they are. In the church, people should be able to come as they are to meet the Savior. So if everyone is tapping away at their text messages and you speak text, SPK IT. You may open doors to verbal communication in the futre. Remember to use proper formality when due. Even though we typically call men and women “brothers” and “sisters” in the church, the most precious word in a language for most people, is their own name. Learn to spell and pronounce it correctly.
Here are Twelve Cs of Communication for Ministry Leaders
- Clarification – Avoid ambiguous language and behavior. Do use error-free communication (proofread typed documents, annunciate spoken words). Make sure your listener / audience understands your purpose for communicating. Use concrete examples and stick to the point. Assumptions are an easy way to leave you standing at a locked door. If you expect the building manager to have all doors open by 6:00 am, have a conversation and put it in writing. Keep a copy of public documents in a public place. Persons concerned should be able to refer to those documents in case of need for clarification.
- Coherence – Make good sense. Connect points with relevant details.
- Comprehensive – Give your listeners everything they need to be informed and, if applicable, to take suggested or required action.
- Courtesy – Be friendly, open, and honest. Remain calm when topics are intense. Regard both agreeing and dissenting viewpoints thoughtfully. Thank others for their help/support.
- Charity – Give. Give more than money. Give time and listening ear. You are setting the example of giving. Give cheerfully without looking for something in return.
- Compromise – Your way or the highway is a ticket to nowhere in relationship building. Learn to offer choices that result in acceptable circumstances. Choices help others become a part of the decision making process, reducing feelings that they are being dictated to. In some cases, there may be a solution that is a blend of what you propose and what someone else or another group would like to implement. Learn to recognize similarities and ways that differences can complement each other.
- Collaboration – Ask for feedback when implementing programs and services. Necessary changes are sometimes easier to identify by persons going through the process, rather than persons designing processes. Use documentation such as surveys. This allows you to have a record of suggestions. Teamwork makes the load lighter for everyone. There will be times when you need to delegate tasks. Doing everything yourself may make you feel in control, but you will not be able to give your best attention to absolutely everything. Learn to develop leadership qualities in others whom you trust, who can then take on other important roles.
- Cooperation – Do not be afraid to follow an example (even if it is not yours), if it is right and expedient. Good leaders know how to be good followers. You can participate in a program that is helpful to others, even when you have a “better” idea, so long as the program is not counter productive. Supporting someone else can open a door to your ideas in the future.
- Consistency – Flip flopping leadership is disconcerting. Be consistent in decision making. It helps to have an established procedure for processes that are encountered regularly. This way, others know what to expect. They can also refer to the procedures rather than asking you for every simple direction. As a leader, it is not your goal to make others totally dependent upon you. You should endeavor to empower them to reach their own potential with your guidance.
- Complimentary – Not only does it notice and acknowledge the good and pleasing features of others, a complimentary person also highlights the good – or brings out the best in other people.
- Creativity – Look for solutions, not problems. Try new things when appropriate. Do more than think outside of the box: research, ask questions and get help when needed to keep projects and necessary duties interesting and fresh.
- Commitment – Keep your priorities straight. Stay on task and finish what you start. Be responsible when things go wrong so you can accept the rewards when things go right.
Mind Tools. “The 7 C’s of communication: A Checklist for Clear Communication.”