Be Focused…We Don’t Hear Well!
I want to continue the thought of why, at Connection, we are so focused on doing four things. If you’ve missed the other posts in this series go I’d love for you to check them out. Just click on those you’ve missed. (Focus! Focus! Focus!, The Problem Isn’t Options!, Effective, Efficient, and Excellent!)
The next reason we MUST stay focused on fewer things in order to be effective is that WE DON’T HEAR WELL! This is something that I learned through books and classes but didn’t really grab hold of until I began to experience it. Communication is often the biggest obstacle in marriages, our relationship with our kids, our interaction and effectiveness in our jobs, and really any other venture that involves more than ONE human being! The challenge is getting what is in our heart and our head into the heart and head of the other person. I am often amazed, as I’m sure you are, at the way I feel I have clearly communicated something to someone yet they never heard it! (I’m sure this has never happened in your marriage!) A good rule of thumb as the one communicating the information is that when you feel you are going to be sick if you have to say what you are communicating one more time then the person, or people, you are communicating to have probably just begun to hear it! Why is this so? Here are a few reasons:
- We don’t communicate clearly. We must first look at our own responsibility in this process. Are we communicating things as clearly as we think we are? In a marriage, as parents, or leading an organization we must constantly be working on our communication skills! How we say what we say is as important as what we say in regards to if and how people hear it!
- We haven’t earned the right to speak into other people’s lives. When we are trying to communicate information and lead people in a direction with the information we are communicating we MUST have buy-in from them in order for them to HEAR and apply what we have communicated. John Maxwell says, “Leadership is influence”. Until people give us the right to speak into their lives we will not have the ability to transplant what’s in our heart and head into theirs!
- The gap between our mouths and people’s ears is greater than we think! It’s amazing how we can think we’ve said something very clearly but people hear something totally different! I don’t know how clear air can change the thought that we feel we have communicated to the thought that people hear but IT DOES! There have been times when I thought I was encouraging people and they walked away REALLY ticked off and there have been times when I thought I was really ticking people off and they walked away encouraged! Go figure! But the bottom line is if we present information over and over again from different angles and in different ways we are more likely to bridge the gap from our mouths to their ears!
- We are trying to cover too much information! I’m guilty of this in messages (Keep your comments to yourself!). It’s better to be extremely clear on one point that people are able to walk away with than having people walk away with nothing! Communication should be like firing a rifle at a specific target not throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what sticks!
- People are distracted! A good example of this is when we do announcements at church! Think about all that is going on with people during this time. Many have just walked in because they either overslept, had car trouble, couldn’t get the kids dressed, etc. Then some just had a fight with their spouse or beat their kids in the church parking lot for misbehaving! Others have had the week from Hell and the moment they sat down after worship is the only time they’ve been still all week! Their mind is flooded with thoughts that they haven’t been able to process over the last few days! This list could go on and on! Then we show a video with the dashing Jon Irvan or someone live presenting the announcements to the congregation. Is it any wonder we don’t hear them?! NO! We are distracted! In all situations, not just church announcements, we have to realize that people have REAL distractions in their life and things that occupy their minds. Because of this we must say what we wish to communicate over and over again!
- People are absent! Often times we feel that we are talking to the same group when in reality we are only hitting a few of the same people over and over again. For example, the average person attends church 1.5 times per month. (Pretty sad…but true) If we only announce something or say something 2 times in a month half of those who attend our church didn’t even have the information presented to them much less have they heard it! We’ve got to say it over and over again just to have the opportunity to present the information to everyone!
- Many times people simply don’t care! Unfortunately, this may be the most common! If we want people to “get” what we are saying we have to show them why it’s important to them! If it’s not relevant to their life they WILL NOT listen!
All of these points (And there are many more) are why we have to stay focused on less things to do God things! By communicating only the few things WE KNOW God has called us to do we are able to talk about them enough that people hear them. This is HUGE! The greatest God-given vision in the world WILL NOT matter if we can’t get it in the heart and head of other people who are called to the vision and willing to run with it!
By the way…I love running with this vision with the folks at Connection!
See you Sunday!