Thursday, January 15, 2009

"Communication is a wonderful thing"

My wife tells me that all the time. She tells our kids that all the time. And they are all grown up! But she keeps telling me that, so I must still need to learn it!

She reminds me that communication is a two-way street. Many times I forget that.

That little reminder is especially true in a church situation when it is about to embark on a major ministry or make a change to an existing ministry. As leaders, it is our responsibility to clearly and effectively communicate not only what we are doing, but also why we are doing it.

Although there may be plenty of printed materials, posters and other collateral material regarding the big change, that alone may not be clear and compelling communication as to “Why?” you are making this change or embarking on this journey. As a Mass Communications major in college, one of the things stressed to us was the importance of the feedback loop in any communication process.

So how do you have clear and effective communication that includes feedback? Well, you have to plan feedback into the process.

This is “Transilient Communication”. Transilient communication occurs when ideas, thoughts, feelings, learnings, knowledge, insights, and wisdom that might otherwise have remained dormant are allowed to emerge in an evocative but safe way. Transilient communication obliterates the barriers and puts everyone in touch with what is going on. And it connects them with others because they trust one another to hear what they say and listen to their heart. Imagine people deeply connecting with each other in this way.

This whole new level of communicating is a place where active listening to each other, (including those outside the tight circle of folks who are involved in planning the change) reflecting on our experiences, and synthesizing new insights from each others experiences are commonplace. And that brings about a fuller understanding of whether or not the intended message is being received by the target audience in the way that you intended it when you first planned the message.

But transilient communication takes courage. It takes time. It takes trust. It takes someone who is listening for the feedback.

Hey! Does anyone out there hear me???

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