How do you make sure people listen instead of just hear?
As Christ followers, we cannot afford to sit on the political sidelines. We have to be willing to engage in civic discourse and stand for the principles that define our faith – no matter our sphere of influence.
Unfortunately, so often our message gets lost in the noise as we get locked into pre-defined roles and stereotypes. That’s why I’m so impressed with politicians who connect effectively with others.
Church leaders and high-level executives can get so used to being on top that they forget what it means to actually make connections with the people around them. As a result, their message can often get lost in the grind of the tasks at hand.
Politicians don’t have that luxury. They have to master the art of making a connection and getting their message to cut across the noise.
So, what are some things leaders can learn from the world of politics?
In regard to making connections – whether you’re in business or in ministry – here are four things you can do.
1. SPEAK FROM EXPERIENCE.
It’s easy to spot people who repeat what they’ve heard at a seminar, read in a book or saw on a video.
2. SPEAK WITH CONFIDENCE.
You can tell if someone has been through something significant. You can hear it in their voice. They’re passionate about it because they’ve experienced it.
3. SPEAK TO BENEFIT OTHERS.
Some people love to listen to themselves talk, whether or not someone else is listening and whether or not what they have to say is relevant.
How do you make sure people listen instead of just hear? I have a rule of thumb that might be helpful.
What you have to say must be:
- Relevant – It has to matter.
- Timely – It has to matter right now.
- Specific – It has to matter right now in a material, measurable way.
If you can connect and drive value through what you’re saying to the other person, you’ll substantially increase the chances others will engage and listen to what you’re saying.
If not, you’ll just be another voice.