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Posts tagged ‘effective communication’

Sensitive Communication: When to Speak — When to Wait

SOURCE:  Taken from  The Peacemaker: A Biblical Guide to Resolving Personal Conflict by Ken Sande, Updated Edition (Grand Rapids, Baker Books, 2003) p. 256.

Time is of the Essence

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity
under heaven…a time to be silent and a time to speak…
” Eccl. 3:1,7

Timing is an essential ingredient of effective communication.

If possible, do not discuss sensitive matters with someone who is tired, worried about other things, or in a bad mood. Nor should you approach someone about an important concern unless you will have enough time to discuss the matter thoroughly.

How often do we pursue peacemaking according to our clocks instead of seeking the Father’s timing?

Not everything is of a sensitive nature, but many things are. And it’s those sensitive matters that require timely approaches. You cannot always wait until someone is well-rested, not worried about anything, and in a great mood; to some degree, that’s what heaven will be.

But when you visit a hospital room, do you just walk right in on the patient and announce your presence? No. Why? You want to be sensitive to whether they might be sleeping or talking with their physician. Regardless of what your clock says, if they’re sleeping, you come back later.

When your pastor is preaching on a Sunday morning, do you stand in the wings returning calls on your cell phone? No (at least let’s hope not). Why? You want to be sensitive to others around you and what God may be trying to tell them–not to mention yourself. Regardless of the calls your phone display may indicate you’ve missed, the timing is not right.

We must be careful, however, that sensitivity doesn’t keep us always silent– there is a time to speak.

And sometimes, God’s timing is an invitation to rely on His strength and His will and speak into a matter, even when we may feel it’s not time. Hyper-sensitivity allows peacefaking to thrive, but not peacemaking.

As peacemakers, we’re called to redeem the time. And that means staying aware of a different time zone–God’s.

 

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Arguing Well: 5 Helpful Tips

SOURCE:  Counseling Solutions

It is impossible to live and not argue or disagree with another person. From birth to the grave, disagreements are part of our life. The odds are so stacked against us that you will not be able to get through life without conflict. Because this is true, it would be good to learn how to argue or disagree with others.

Here Are Five Helpful Tips To Help You Disagree Well

Expect the Obvious – A right understanding of the doctrines of man and sin will bring your expectations down to a realistic level. There are no authentic, innate, self-righteous people in the world today. We all are sinners. No one has escaped the curse of Adam. I think when we are surprised by another person’s sin, we have forgotten the obvious: sin is the one thing we do very well. I am not making a case for you to sin more or making light of sin, but I am stating the obvious: we are sinners.

Be Suspicious – The only time when suspicion is allowed is when you are suspicious of yourself. Jesus told us in Matthew 7:3-5 that if you realize the log is in your eye, then you are in a good place to engage another sinner. I am well-aware that I’m self-deceived and because of this, I’m typically not understanding the conflict correctly. A person who is humbly suspicious of himself is a person who has true understanding.

Remember Who You Really Are – This one thing I know: I killed Christ. Because of my sin, the Father executed His Son on the Cross. Because of my sin, the Son willingly chose to die on the Cross. It was my sin that put the Son on the Tree. I am the biggest sinner I know. All of the things that have been done to me do not compare to what I have done to Him. All other sins cannot compare to the sin I have committed. Paul understood this, even at the end of his life. He also understood that his great God showed mercy on him, the chief of sinners. Most assuredly, I can extend a similar mercy toward others.

Ask Questions – Typically I charge into conflict making statements, rather than asking questions. I’m rarely suspicious of my tendency to be self-deceived and, therefore, I state my opinion with insufficient data. More times than not it would have been better for me to ask more questions before stating my opinion. Because of my high opinion of my views and the rightness that I generally feel, I tend to not ask enough questions, choosing rather to make more statements.

Little to Die Over – As I reflect over my past arguments, it is hard to remember any of them that were important enough to sin against God and others. I remember as a kid getting into an argument with my four brothers over a Snickers Bar. We were very poor and on that day we had only one candy bar. One brother measured the candy with a ruler, but did not divide the five parts equally. An argument ensued. Sadly, many of my arguments have not evolved much beyond the trivialities of dividing a candy bar.

How Can You Respond to this Article?

Perhaps you are currently in a disagreement with another person. Let me ask you some questions, based on the five tips above and encourage you to respond to God first and then to the person you’re in conflict with:

  1. Expectations: Are you really surprised your offender has done wrong? (Assuming they have done wrong.) Can you extend grace? If not, why not? If not, then you have totally missed the point of the Gospel.
  2. Suspicious: Are you more suspicious of yourself? …or your friend? If you are genuinely more suspicious of yourself, then will you respond in grace to your offender?
  3. Remember: Who is the biggest sinner you know? If you say anything other than yourself, then you have some heart-work to do. But if you really believe you are the worst sinner you know, then you can extend mercy to your offender, because mercy has been extended to you. This is the point of the Gospel.
  4. Questions: Do you really think you have all the facts? Ask yourself if you are missing anything. Assume you are. Get more data. Ask more questions. Make less statements.
  5. Trivialities – How important is it for you to be right? How important is the issue you are arguing over? Is this really a hill to die on?

Will you go to the person you are in conflict with and seek to reconcile the relationship? This is the point of the Gospel.

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