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Communicating Wisely

Remember your goals: to be compassionate, collaborative, and effective

Make direct eye contact to let the person know that you are interested in

what he/she is saying.

Be 100% present and not pre-occupied. Be very careful about facial

expressions, and do not look at your watch or phone, sigh, snort, or roll

your eyes.

Be slow to speak and quick to listen (perhaps wait 5 seconds before

speaking) James 1:19-20 says, “Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to

speak, and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the

righteous life that God desires” (NIV)

Resist the temptation to interrupt the person who is speaking

Do not talk in absolutes (avoid words such as “always” or “never”)

More words are better (miscommunication is less likely to happen with an

over-explanation or asking clarifying questions)

Use “I” statements instead of “you” statements (for example, “I feel

_______________ when you say or do _________________”)

Speak words without attaching a judgment to them (this includes your tone

of voice as well)

Make sure your words are in accordance with Ephesians 4:29 which says,

“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is

helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit

those who listen” (NIV)

Resist the temptation to jump to conclusions about what others are thinking

or their motivations

Apologize and ask for forgiveness if you hurt someone’s feelings

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