Communication is dynamic, challenging…even demanding. It takes your full attention to do well and we live in a world where giving anything our full attention is becoming more and more challenging. Communication is challenging because there are more factors involved in it going well than we can accurately predict or address and still communicate as well as we can. Good communication makes things clear and known to those who need to know, providing the needed information for people to understand and make decisions.
In the absence of good communication comes speculation. Honestly, speculation also happens in the face of good communication but its affects and frequency are lessened as communication improves.Specificity disarms speculation because speculation is needed where gaps in our knowledge exist. Specificity helps fill those gaps and alleviate the need for someone to make up their own narrative (which is often 2-10 times worse than reality, rarely better).
Regularity is also needed for good communication to take place. You cannot say something once and expect it to be heard. If you are a preacher, what did you preach on 5 weeks ago (without looking). If you don’t know, neither will they. It is nearly impossible to overcommunicate. It can be done but that rarely happens.
Everything communicates. Even what you don’t communicate, communicates. Why was that left out? Was it purposeful or was it accidental? Either way communicates something. Information left out purposefully might come across as mistrust. Information left out accidentally might come across as careless. Our communication is much more than the words we choose to use…it is even in how we go about formulating the words we choose and the way in which we use them.
Communication takes a lot of time and effort to do well. It is impossible to communicate well without doing your homework first. Prior to the digital age one had to be even more clear than technology encourages today. You were in print and had to mail what you wrote…better be accurate and leave little room for miscommunication or misunderstanding. The digital age has spoiled us. Many don’t communicate or listen as well as before the digital age because technology is our crutch. It is easy, even instant to clarify and correct.
It is also hard to communicate simply without taking a lot of time and effort to personally boil things down from complex to simple. Disorganized thinking results in complex and confusing communication. Complex and confusing are easy…simple is hard.
Communication is best when it is personal. I just love how when God wanted to make himself super, super clear…he came in the flesh (Jesus Christ) in order to say it with his own mouth into the ears of real people…and then walk around and talk with them and deal with them in light of what has been said.
Oh communication…it can be our biggest asset and/or our biggest challenge. How we go about doing it can help determine which one of those it is going to be.