Communicate More Effectively

Communicate More Effectively -  Lisa U Maki

Communication is more than just talking. It is also more than just listening. It is knowing when to listen and when to talk. James 1:19 says be slow to speak, quick to hear... This means that we shouldn't talk without listening first.
The problem is, when somebody is talking, the other person is already formulating in her mind what to say next. When this happens, she becomes more concerned about what she is hearing in her own mind than what the other person is trying to express. What she may say may not even be related to what the other one is communicating. That marks the end of the communication.
A person who does not know how to listen is selfish and is just concerned about herself and what she wants to say. What she has to realize is the only way she can get her message across is to find out where the other person is coming from. This can only happen by listening first.
While some people are gifted with the gift of effective communication, I believe that it is more of a skill that is learned and acquired through practice. Following are some tips and guidelines to effective communication.
Clear your mind when somebody is talking. Focus on what the other person is saying. If you get distracted and lose track of what she is saying, be honest and say: "I'm sorry, I lost track of what you were saying, what was that again?"
If something pops up in your mind that is related to what the other person is saying and you don't want to lose the thought, just say, "I don't want to interrupt you but I just had a thought about what you were saying". Then say it but don't drag on.
When it's time for you to talk, always refer back to what the other person said so she will know that you really listened and so that what you are communicating is connected to what she was trying to say.
If you are the one initiating the conversation, then be sure to involve the other person by asking her questions that are not answerable by yes or no. Ask her, "What do you think?" instead of "Do you agree?"
The best form of communication is one on one, when you are physically there for the person. If this is the case, look at the person in the eye while she is talking. You can tap her hand once in a while to show that you are listening.
If it is a telephone conversation, and you were the one who called, be sure to ask the other person if it is a good time to talk.
When talking on the phone, pay attention to the other person as if she is in front of you. Try not to do other things when you're talking or you will surely get distracted.
After you say what you want to say, be sure that the other person(s) understood your message the way you want to be understood. Again, you can do this by asking questions that are not answerable by yes or no such as: "What do you think of that idea"? From here, you will know if the person(s) understood your message clearly or not.
If you are communicating publicly, meaning you have a bigger audience, and you are a "speaker", you still need to involve your audience. This requires a higher level of skill though because you have to get them involved but still manage and control the communication. This is a skill that public speakers and preachers need to learn if they want to be more effective. So if you are a public speaker/preacher, here are more tips:
Look at your audience straight into their eyes when you are talking.
Get them involved by asking questions and calling a few to answer the question.
You can also call someone on stage to participate in some visual presentation.
If more people want to get involved and you are running out of time, you can say, 'I am calling one more person now before I go back to my talk'.
It is advisable to do your research before your actual talk. Find out more about your audience.
The more you know about their needs, the better you can tailor-fit your talk to these needs.
To conclude, let me share with you a brief testimony of what I've learned about effective communication.
I have been a public speaker for over 15 years. I have been invited to speak for different organizations including government agencies. In all these opportunities, I have proven myself to be an effective communicator. Then I met Jesus and surrendered my life to Him. I began to read the Bible and realized that what I knew about communication was just the tip of the iceberg. As I learned more about Jesus, I discovered more about effective communication through His own examples. Jesus knew when to talk and when to listen. He knew when to give information and when to withhold it. To those who were willing and hungry to receive, He gave more; to those who were not ready to receive, He spoke in parables. He didn't waste His time explaining Himself to those who didn't care. He didn't just talk but He knew exactly what He was talking about. He spoke from His heart and not just His mind.
Lisa is the founder of God'z Gurlz, a Bible-based online magazine for women. She is also a Professional Writer/Consultant with over 10 years of experience in Professional Writing Public speaking, and Human Resources in Organizational Development. She manages a Professional Writing business which includes Résumé Writing, Business Letter Writing, Essays, Business Plans, Website Content, Editing Jobs, Press Kits, and other writing requirements. Other than her business, Lisa is also an evangelist/preacher/minister. She has 10 years of ministry experience including pastoring a women's prison; conduct of Bible-based seminars and Bible studies in corporate offices; preaching engagements in churches, police camps, schools, and other organizations; outreach programs for poor families and children; and pastoring a church. Together with her husband, they drive around towns, cities, and eventually states, with their JESUS van, to bring the church outside where the people are. They head a ministry called God'z Gang whose main focus is to reach those who are not reached by traditional means and methods used by churches.In 2010, Lisa self-published a book entitled UNVEIL ME. It is a self-help, Bible-based book that talks about the woman's needs and wants, how these were distorted along the way, how these distortions have wounded her, and how she can experience true healing through Jesus Christ. It is a book that talks about her own hurts and the process of healing she went through and still going through. It also talks about stories of other women that every other woman can relate to. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and some "masteral" units in Psychological Services. Article Source:  Article Source: