Leadership Skill: Communication

Leaders must learn to first communicate with God and then with people.

That's the order that will produce the greatest level of effectiveness.
Yet, so often in the church we find:
too many consultations with others about what to do without first going to God
too many meetings in which the church's affairs are discussed without first seeking God's guidance
too many decisions made without adequate prayer but nonetheless expecting God to bless it
And then we wonder why things don't work out as we had hoped, why we aren't growing despite all our best efforts, why there are conflicts.

When leaders don't first communicate with God:

They tend to lean too much on their own understanding which often leads to trouble. -- Trusting in God brings good direction and success. (Prov. 3:5-6; 14:12)
They tend to rely on their own abilities or strength which often leads to burnout. -- Depending on God brings renewal and the ability to soar. (Isa. 40:28-31; Phil. 4:13)

When leaders fail to communicate with people:

They open the door for possible misunderstandings which can eventually lead to divisions. They deny people a sense of ownership in the process, making the endeavor appear more as the "leader's thing" than a joint effort.
The importance of communicating both with God and people cannot be over-stressed. When leaders learn to be better communicators, everything else seems to go much more effectively.
Look at communication as an on-going, never-ending process, not a once and done event -- before, during, and after.

Tips for communicating with God:

  • Keep a clean slate with Him, not allowing integrity breaks to block your communication with God. -- Leadership has lots of temptations but God's grace is always sufficient to not only keep one from sinning but also to restore open lines of communication if one fails. (Titus 2:11-12; 1 Jn. 1:5-10)
  • Pour your heart out to Him as your confidant, someone with whom you can tell anything and everything. -- Leadership can be a lonely place but God is always with you. (Ps. 62:8)
  • Take your concerns to God but also remember to express thanksgiving. -- Leadership can be discouraging but God is always in control. (Phil. 4:6)

Tips for communicating with people:

  • Keep lines of communication open always, not just when there are changes coming or conflict. -- Why should people listen if that's the only time you try to engage them in the process?
  • Connect with people as you communicate, maintaining eye contact and expressing interest in them and what concerns them. -- Why should people care if it's just about your agenda?
  • Engage people, making sure the communication is two-way, not you simply telling them what they need to know. -- Why should people attend if their opinions don't matter?
  • Be honest yet speak the truth in love. -- Why should people hear you out if they feel they are going to be condemned, not feeling accepted and safe?
  • Be patient and persist until people seem to understand. -- Why should they agree with what you propose if they need more information or time to process what you are saying?

Share This with Others:

Go To:   Other Leader Skills   -   Leader Basics   -   Leader Qualities   -   Practicum