By JoJo Tabares
9. Your Job
8. Your Relatives
7. Your Business
6. Your Employees
5. Your Witness
4. Your Friends
3. Your Children
2. Your Marriage
1. Your happiness
Studies show that effective communicators do better in school, have deeper relationships, longer marriages, are more successful, make more money and are generally happier than their less articulate counterparts. The Lord felt communication skills so important for our lives that He mentions communication skills literally HUNDREDS of times in His Word.
“Let your conversation always be full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” -Colossians 4:6
“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 3:15
“He who loves a pure heart and whose speech is gracious will have the king for his friend.” -Proverbs 22:11
“An offended brother is more unyielding than a fortified city, and disputes are like the barred gates of the citadel.” -Proverbs 18:19
Just to name a few…
Most people think communication is an elective, a speech class, a skill only lawyers and politicians need, something you learn by osmosis just by talking. If I were to tell you that math was an elective, you’d think I was nutz. Math is a core subject that everyone needs, right? Yes, but how many times did the Lord mention math in the Bible? He saw fit to mention communication skills hundreds of times!
If I were to tell you that you actually make speeches all day long, you’d wonder about my sanity, but what is a speech? According to Merriam Webster.com, speech is defined as:
1. a) the communication or expression of thoughts in spoken words, b) the exchange of spoken words: Conversation
2. a) something that is spoken: Utterance, b) usually a public discourse: Address
And “The power of expressing or communicating thoughts by speaking”
So when we are having a conversation, we are really making a series of mini-speeches in response to another’s mini-speeches. When we are disciplining our children, we are making a mini speech. And when we are trying to convince our neighbor to be more careful of our begonias, are we not making a speech?
Talking doesn’t make you an excellent communicator any more than painting makes you Thomas Kinkaid! They say practice makes perfect, but while at my son’s golf class yesterday, the instructor reminded me that it isn’t practice that makes perfect. Practice makes permanent. Perfect practice makes perfect!
How good is Tiger Woods? He’s not good because he hit the golf ball several hundred times, he’s good because he had a coach who taught him to hit them well!
If you aren’t getting proper instruction, you aren’t learning excellence! Nobody questions that Tiger Woods needs a coach though he is considered the best golfer in the world right now! So why is it that we hear folks say, “Oh I took a speech course once back in high school”? Do you think Tiger took one golf lesson back in high school?
If your education, your relationships, your career, your family, your children’s future, your financial security and your happiness all depend upon the effectiveness of your communication, why aren’t you studying it? Why aren’t you teaching your children? Isn’t it time to start?
JoJo Tabares holds a degree in Speech Communication, but it is her humorous approach to communication skills which has made her a highly sought-after Christian speaker and writer. Her articles appear in homeschool publications, such as Homeschool Enrichment Magazine and The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, which also endorses her Say What You Mean curricula. You can also find JoJo on websites such as Crosswalk.com and Dr.Laura.com. For more information on communication FUNdamentals and Christian-based communication skills for the whole family, please visit http://www.ArtofEloquence.com