I wrote an article for the January/February edition of KidzMatter Magazine entitled “6 Things I Wish I Had Known About Communicating.” It was part of a series that included more “things I wish I had known when I first started a ministry job” from other contributors. Here are the 6 church communication tips I shared, that I wish I had known when I first started out.
Make a Plan
I wish early on I had created a plan for how and when I would communicate with volunteers and parents. Plans change as needed over time, but having a plan ensures consistency and helps avoid communication gaps.
Less AND More
People receive so much information daily that we’re trained to ignore long communication. The growing use of smartphones for email compounds the issue even more. I wish I had known it is better to send short emails more often instead of long emails less frequently.
Strong Communication Builds Influence
Everyone likes to be “in the know”. When your communication is strong, it helps build your influence with those you lead. Primarily because they know they can rely on you for the information they want.
Multiple Mediums are a Must
Different people prefer to be communicated with in different ways. Email is usually the easiest and most popular, but learn who prefers face-to-face, over the phone, texting or social media instead and try to use all available mediums.
Resolve Conflict Face to Face
It’s much easier to try and resolve conflict over email, or even over the phone. However, any type of conflict is best-resolved face-to-face. There are fewer opportunities for bad assumptions to be made and a better chance to fully understand one another.
Never Forget The Why
It’s easy to know “what” to communicate, but I wish I had known how important the “why” was as well. Communicating the reason for something (a decision, an event, a plan, etc.) helps people buy into it more. “What” engages the mind. “Why” engages the heart.