Communication in Minsitry – dealing with people

Chris Miller, President of Miller Management, is the host of this week’s episode. He is joined by his colleage, Dr. Glenn Miller, CEO of Miller Management.

Communication in Ministry – part two

The first episode in this series was part one of the discussion of one on one communication, today is part two of that discussion. Next up will be group communications. Thirdly, will be communication at the organization level. And the fourth week will discuss how meetings can effectively move your organization forward.

Improving Communication

We will continue right where we left off last week, with improving our communication.

Some important things to consider when having a one on one conversation is to choose a good time. Rest or time apart could require a formal meeting later. Or maybe you could ask or make an appointment, to help the other person find a good time in their schedule as well.

Be open and honest in your communication and listen at least as much as you talk. Establishing blaim isn’t productive in this situation, instead just discribe the situation as you see it, and give the other person a chance to do the same.

At the end of the meeting, agree on next steps together. It’s helpful to work from the same to-do list to avoid further confusion.

Dealing with Difficult People

You may come across a difficult person or two in your time as a leader, we have a few more pointers for handeling those conversations. First, be consistent. This provides trust and respect. Difficult people don’t like surprises, they view them as additional reasons for distrust.

Second, don’t point fingers, but do explain the situation from your point of view. Apologize when necessary. Third, move forward as quickly as you can, which usually requires great patience. Fourth, reinforce good behavior as often as you can. Positive affirmations go a long way to build relationships. Remember, it needs to be genuine and specific praise, nothing else will pass muster.

A few more tips for dealing with all people

Like we mentioned last week, people want to know and be known. This applies to introverts and extroverts, by the way. A close second is to understand and be understood. Then you can move onto solutions. Celebrate those wins – don’t hold back on this step!

Examine your motives and agenda, and alter your behavior for the ultimate goal. (The good of the ministry.) Don’t be afraid to change your perspective.

Assuming things is fine if you are 100% accurate, but rarely when we assume things are we that accurate. Untested or innacurate assuming can severely limit communication. Double check for clarity, be flexible, and see things from the other person’s perspective.

Logistics in Communicating

A few more helpful tips in the logistics of communication. Find the best medium: in-person, phone, email, text. Each have their own value, but difficult conversations are almost always best one on one. Learn to say no. To the wrong timing, the wrong medium, or the wrong perspective.

Consider the style of the person you are trying to communication with, and utilize that style even if it’s not your preferred style. Whenever possible, get backs to folks within 24 hours. Go the extra mile in communicating, increase the success zone by going 60-70% of the way that we discussed last time. Finally, follow through – do what you say you are going to do. A lack of follow through can create distrust.

Final Thoughts

Who determines the success – the sender or receiver? We feel the burden lies with the sender. The receiver has their own responsibilites to be sure, but ultimately, it’s the sender with the message and vision and it’s their job to see that it is clearly communicated.

Good communication reduces stress, creates satisfaction, and ultimately will make your ministry more effective in your mission. Nothing replaces that one and one communication, while it is more time consuming, it’s always more productive in the long run.

Next week we continue our communication disussion series with effective group communication.

Join the conversation, see behind the scenes, and learn more on our Instagram and X pages.

Special thanks to our guest, Dr. Glenn Miller, and our masters of all things Podcasting, Chris and Lauren Miller, for this second episode in our Communication in Ministry series.