This month I’ll be highlighting a number of communication tools for leaders to help them articulate what matters most to your congregation in ways that connect with others and cause people to take action.
In his book, Everyone Communicates, Few Connect, John C. Maxwell takes readers through the Five Connecting Principles and the Five Connecting Practices of top-notch achievers. He believes that a person’s ability to create change and results in an organization – be it a company, church, nonprofit, or even a family – is directly tied to effective communication principles and practices. My next blog will highlight these principles and practices.
For today’s conversation, I wish to highlight author Stephen Covey’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, where he reminds people to begin with the end in mind, to think win-win and seek to understand what would motivate people to act upon information with a sense of urgency.
If you are the kind of person who asks, “What do we seek to accomplish as a result of what we’re communicating?” then consider the three questions below the next time you promote a training event or social activity or write an article for your newsletter.
- What? Think about the communication you receive from companies and non-profit organizations. Their intent is not to simply inform you of their products, services or purpose. Their intent is to persuade you to change your attitude, assumptions or actions. I often ask congregations who are revamping their websites, “Is it your intent to simply inform them about your congregations or is it to persuade them to visit your congregation or participate in its mission and ministries?”
- So what? What’s often missing in congregational communications is the “why” that explains the importance of what we do. We assume that the why is obvious and nothing more needs to be said but that’s simply not the case. When congregations clearly state the “why,” it provides the fuel that motivates people to take action and make sacrifices that they’d be unwilling to so otherwise.
- Now what? Assuming that people have a clear understanding of what you’re inviting people to think, say or do, and that they’re sufficiently motivated to take action, good communicators realize that they must provide an immediate outlet for helping people channel their energy into action. Ask people how they could see themselves moving forward. Make a list of all the ways that people can act upon their intentions within the next 30-day goals in case some people need help with figuring out where they could get started.
How well do you communicate the answers to these three questions related to your ministry? How might you communicate your intentions more clearly in the future?