Posts Tagged ‘Communication


Seven percent ain’t enough, do you hear me?

Seven percent! The rest comes from other things. Just 7% of the meaning someone is communicating comes through their words, the rest is found in their intonation, body language, facial expressions and other non-verbal means.

Now that might explain why I don’t always understand what my wife and kids are trying to tell me. Could it be I am too focused on the “message” and miss the meaning-rich delivery? Do I need to refocus my attention such that not only can I hear what they are saying but I can process how they said it? What was in their tone? Where were they looking when they talked to me? What did they do with their hands?

My listening needs to be active. Sometimes what I will do is to give the person talking some feedback in order to test out if I am catching their meaning. I won’t just repeat the verbal message I will add in some of what I am picking up from their non-verbals.

What do you do to improve your understanding of what people are communicating?


Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. (Ja 1:19-20)


How incompetent are you at work?

Are you an incompetent manager? Margaret Heffernan at identified 10 habits that she suggests are pointers towards managerial incompetence.

I have recast those 10 into the following two categories:

  1. You are not honest about your own fears and limitations.
    1. You put off decisions for fear you might make the wrong one.
    2. You hide behind consultants.
    3. You hire people who will not out shine you.
    4. You work long hours to look good.
    5. You focus on procedures because you’re not sure how to advance the process.
    6. You become consumed with little tasks because you can’t handle the key ones.
  2. You are not trustworthy in relationships.
    1. You keep secrets from your staff unnecessarily.
    2. You are unable to correct staff honestly and directly.
    3. You have burned your bridges…no former employees want to join your team.
    4. You fail to honour deadlines, robbing the team of a sense of accomplishment.

How do you measure up?

The bottom line here is more than what you might think. Our honesty and trustworthiness with our “little” piece of the marketplace is an indicator of our preparedness to be faithful in the “much” of God’s kingdom.

One who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much – Jesus (Lk 16:10)


The top three sex needs of wives

I didn’t make these up. These are what were reported by Dr. Gary and Barb Rosberg based on responses from 700 wives.

Number 1 – affirmation – expressed with authenticity outside the bedroom as well as within

Number 2 – Connectedness – validate her by demonstrating you understand her world and her level of weariness

Number 3 – Non-sexual touch that expresses affection but leads nowhere else

Given the above let me add that a husband will get bonus points if he:

  • Sincerely affirms his wife in front of her friends
  • Not only “gets” her weariness but does something to lessen it
  • Puts some energy into discovering what non-sexual touches are most appreciated by his bride

One thing that will make your relationships better

I am not one that is into quick fixes, so when I write “One thing that will make your relationships better” I am a bit concerned that you might think that is exactly what I am doing, that I am giving you a fail-safe simple formula to fix your relationship issues. That is not what I intend. Nonetheless, I think this “one thing” will make a significant contribution so here goes.

Listen. That’s it. The one thing that will make your relationships better is to listen to the other. By listening we honour the other. By listening we affirm the other. By listening we add value to the other. By listening we become the audience to the other’s life, to the other’s joys, to the other’s sorrow.

When I am heard I feel appreciated, I feel loved and respected. When I have been heard by the other, I am more open to them speaking into my life. Definitely less likely if they have not listened, if they have not heard me out.

A recent survey of 146,000 American teenagers found that:

More than one-third (36%) of respondents believe that to improve their relationships, adults should listen more

Let’s try it out. Let’s listen more to our teens, to our wives, to our co-workers.

Read here for another post about communication.


Eight Principles to Manage Media

We live in a sea of media, much of it not God-honouring. How do we avoid being swamped? Below are some “drown-proofing” principles that I gleaned and reworked from an interview with Bob Klauflin.

1. Don’t assume what the culture feeds you is good for you. Think!

Proverbs 14:15 The simple believes everything, but the prudent gives thought to his steps.

2. You are what you eat…or watch…or listen to. In other words the media you hang around with will influence you.

Proverbs 13:20 Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.

3. The focus of my attention has to be the “good” as God defines it. Labeling it art doesn’t make it “good” for me.

Philippians 4:8 Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

4. I choose the things I view and listen to. Just because I can doesn’t mean I should.

1Corinthians 6:12 “All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful. “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.

5. Be persistently and intentionally selective.

Proverbs 4:23 Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life.

6. My choices affect more than me, I need to be mindful of others.

1Corinthians 8:9 But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.

7. Don’t be casual about your media choices, seek to please God.

1Corinthians 10:31-33 So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Give no offense to Jews or to Greeks or to the church of God, just as I try to please everyone in everything I do, not seeking my own advantage, but that of many, that they may be saved.

8. I need to exercise discernment and reject media that opposes God’s values.

1John 2:15-17 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world— the desires of the flesh and the desires of the eyes and pride in possessions—is not from the Father but is from the world. And the world is passing away along with its desires, but whoever does the will of God abides forever.


Seven ways to love the imperfect spouse

I was suppose to deliver something to a co-worker. My wife had asked me to do it. I forgot. I didn’t intentionally forget, the day just got away from me and before I knew it, I am back home having to fess-up that I had forgotten. Simple proof that my wife didn’t marry a perfect man.

Do the imperfections of our spouses cause stress and disappointment? Yup! Gary Thomas recently wrote an article with some practical advice on how to deal with feeling letdown by your spouse. Here is my summary of that.

  1. Accept that every spouse is going to mess up. When my wife has a bad day, when she stumbles or makes a mistake, that is very natural. Choosing not to get bent out of shape over it puts me in a better place to appreciate the good God is doing in her and through her.
  2. Own that marriages are tough work. A good marriage is going to take ongoing effort. Every season is a new season of growing together. If I accept this I short circuit the resentment that could build up if I had been thinking that I should be coasting in my marriage relationship.
  3. Admit my own sinfulness. It is just too easy to see the shortcomings of another and miss our own. How much more so in a marriage. Nothing will be gained by trying to suggest that her “problems” are worse than mine. I am not called to judge her harshly but to love her dearly. Keeping my focus on the plank jutting out of my eye helps me lay off the speck in hers.
  4. Dwell on the positive. Mentally replaying my wife’s mistakes does not help her and it hinders me from affirming her in a healthy and meaningful way.
  5. Respect your spouse. We are tempted to think that they need to earn our respect. The bible, however, commands us to have this attitude. Husbands check out 1Pe 3:7 and wives Eph 5:33.
  6. Thank God for your spouse. Not only should we dwell on the positive, but a great way of changing a negative attitude toward a spouse who has let you down is to thank God for the good you see in them. Be sincere and specific in your prayers, allowing one thanksgiving to spawn another.
  7. Pray about your own weaknesses. When thoughts come about your spouse’s weaknesses, counter not only with prayers of thanksgiving but prayers about your own weaknesses. That two-barrel prayer strategy will bring a great corrective to your negative attitudes.

The problem of going it alone

alone.jpgOver a 10 year period, researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health looked at more than 28,000 men. Here are some of the observations they made regarding socially isolated men:

  • they are more likely than others to have died of all types of illness, accidents and suicide
  • they are at far greater risk of developing heart disease
  • they run a higher risk of depression and other mental health problems

The study goes on to note that being close with different people, people other than your immediate family, particularly people that you can be real with, is very beneficial to a man.

I am not questioning the value in men relating to men, especially in a relationship that has some depth. In fact I am promoting it. Like this is a new idea.

9 Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 10 For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! (Ecc 4:9-10)

Guys need to cheer other guys on. What keeps us from doing that?


This blog is a place to wrestle with loving, leading and labouring according to the Jesus Way.


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