You gotta laugh (or something) when it's your Communications Director who makes the biggest blunders. It's so ironic. Just yesterday, I was telling Tony I know there is a number 11, 12 & 13 that probably belong on this list that I’m sure I violate. I even said that I hope someone tells me about them, too. The only reason they’re not on the list is because I’m not aware that I do them. And, I meant it.
I just wasn’t expecting such a quick turnaround.
I got an email early this morning from Tim Stevens, our executive pastor. He was curious about my most recent post. Then he went on to challenge me with some questions. I'm going to share those questions with you as a learning illustration from my own personal communication miss.
- How do you think our ministry leaders will feel about their ministry if you’ve recently visited? Was it me? Was she talking about my ministry? What made her cringe? Why didn’t she tell me before she told “the world”?
- How do you think any of our ministry leaders will feel about your future visits? Oh great, she’s probably gonna cringe at something I’m doing and then tell “the world.”
- Do you think this Top Ten list will be difficult to share with the staff next week or next month now that you’ve shared it with “the world” and told such world that you cringe when sitting in certain ministries at GCC? Instead of it coming out of “let’s all do a little better” – could it possibly come across as “you are doing stuff wrong and I’m here to correct you”?
- Do you think the helpfulness in sharing a very relevant and recent illustration outweighs the potential hurt that it could cause to those who are in such illustrations? (The same question every preacher/teacher must ask himself when his kids get to an age of understanding and suddenly his illustrations, though very current and helpful, could embarrass or emotionally wound his teens).
Tim's right. I was careless and callous in my opening paragraph. I also recognize that I never clarified there are no real or recent illustrations in the list. It's all illustrative examples. I know that, but how is the reader supposed to know if I don’t make it clear?
11. People shut down when your message sounds like a scolding.
Be conscientious to ensure your generic, corporate comments don't sound like a personal attack. Filter your words through an individual's perspective when you share sensitive information or opportunities for growth. Remember people are passionate about things close to them (e.g., family, friends, ministries, projects, etc.). Make sure your tone matches your intent.