"A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver." Proverbs 25:11This week on The Talk Talk Show on the Communication Comedy Network, I'm asking the question, "If communication is so important, why isn't everyone studying it?" In my seminars I ask how many think communication skills are important for every day life. Just about everyone in the audience will raise their hand. However, when I ask my next question, I get puzzled looks: How many of you have studied communication skills or are teaching them to your children?
"The wise in heart accepts commands, but the chattering fool comes to ruin." Proverbs 10:8Usually about three hands go up. One says she took a speech class once, another says she'll have her son take a speech class when he's a senior in high school and another who says she already taught her daughter a writing class. The rest say they don't intend to make a speech in their lifetime so they don't need communication skills. But they just said they were important in every day life! Why the disconnect? Because though most people think communication skills are important, they ONLY think of communication as speech or writing! However, this erroneous assumption can hold them back or damage their relationships in life. Let me explain... 1. Taking one speech class doesn't make one an expert speech maker any more than taking one golf lesson makes one Tiger Woods.
"He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend." Proverbs 22:112. I know it sounds simplistic, but speech and writing courses teach speech and writing. They do not teach the specific skills needed in order to interview well, convince your boss you are worthy of a promotion, help dissuade your neighbor's son from trampling your begonias, work out an issue in your marriage, discipline your 15 year old, effectively resolve a conflict with a co worker or family member, lead a group of people for a church project or share/defend your faith. Each of these require very different communication skills.
"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:" 1Peter 3:153. Though many have a fear of speaking in public (but are comfortable one on one), speaking to hundreds of people is not the same as speaking to one. I know many great speech makers who are too intimidating one on one to be effective. 4. Being comfortable speaking is not the same as being effective. I'm comfortable playing basket ball, but as someone who's 5' nuthin', I'm not proficient at it!
"An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of the citadel." Proverbs 18:195. Practice doesn't make perfect; perfect practice makes perfect! Many people tell me that they are comfortable with social communication because they have been doing it all their lives. However, some of those comfortable communicators don't realize that they are communicating in a way that hurts people's feelings or intimidates others or makes others uncomfortable or doesn't persuade others to follow where they lead. I've been a student of communication for over 25 years and each year I make it a point to learn even MORE!
"Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone." Colossians 4:687% of what you and I do all day long is communication related. The Bible has HUNDREDS of scriptures that tell us of the importance of mastering these skills and gives us some tips for doing so as well as some consequences if we don't! Studies show that effective communicators are better students, have deeper relationships, better marriages, more successful careers and make more money than their less articulate counterparts. In fact, studies show that effective communicators are even HAPPIER!
"-So is my word that goes out from my mouth: it will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it." Issaiah 55:11I'll be discussing this topic in depth on Thursday's podcast and I invite you to join me so please mark it down on your calendar to attend live! (Thursdays 8am PST /11am EST) We'll be discussing the top reasons given for not studying communication skills including fear and boredom and the solution for each issue! All this week I'll be sharing some of my articles on communication skills. I invite you to come back each day and share these with your friends and family. Communication is probably THE most important skill in life to master! Until then, I leave you with this question, "If communication skills are so important, why aren't YOU studying them? Visit Art of Eloquence's Online Catalog today!