Communication Pointers

  • Don’t catch the biggest fish. When someone is excited about something in their life, let them glory in their success without you trying to top them.  You may have caught a ten pound bass yesterday, but today, let them glory in their one pound bream.
  • Don’t rain on people’s parade. They are excited about their newly purchased, used, purple Ford Focus so why spoil their party by asking, “Why in the world did you buy a purple car?    I wouldn’t have a Ford?”  Hey, if they’re happy, be happy with them.
  • Everyone has a story—listen. God created the person you think is stupid or boring.  You may actually learn something from the most unlikely source if you keep your ears and mind open.
  • There is a difference between hearing and listening. This reminds me of the Peanuts cartoon where Charlie Brown hears the adults talking and it sounds like, “Whonk, whonk, whonkwhonk.”  Do we only hear the noise or do we listen to the words and emotion of the other person?
  • Give people your full attention. Put down your phone, mute the television, look them in the eye, keep your mind engaged, and listen!
  • Allow people to finish their thoughts before interrupting or shaking your head no. Anything taken out of context or with limited information is not the whole story—wait to hear the full statement before reacting.
  • Give even the least your attention. If you are too important to spend a few minutes with an aged person with dementia, a small child who cannot put a whole sentence together, or a person you deem to be about five steps below your social or intellectual level then you are thinking too much of yourself.  Jesus never walked around or stepped over someone because of their low status!
  • One opportunity is all you may have with some people. We need to treat everyone with respect all the time.  One positive or negative statement may have a great impact on someone or you.
  • Let people save face when possible. Sometimes people need to be confronted.  But most of the time, it is not necessary to put people in a corner where the only exit is to fight or flee.  Give them a little space.  If they make a benign statement and the information is wrong—so what?
  • Don’t think you have to win every argument. There is actually a slim chance you may be wrong!
  • If you are an aggressive individual, you may not win as many arguments as you think—you may be just wearing people down! They are so weary with you, it is a relief to walk away looking as though they lost the debate.
  • Even if you think you are the smartest person in the room—don’t act as though you are because you are likely to be the only one impressed.
  • If you think you are the smartest person in the room, you are either too arrogant or a poor recruiter—most likely both!
  • When you say something hurtful or you do something rude—apologize. It takes a bigger person to apologize than to be right all the time.
  • When you apologize to someone—apologize and shut-up! When you try to explain why you said or did something wrong—it negates the apology.
  • Leave something on the plate! It is better to leave the other person wanting to hear more than to wish you would be quiet!
  • When you are talking with someone and they are taking steps away from you; it’s a good sign to say goodbye!
  • Since you are beginning to walk away, it is time to say goodbye—Goodbye!

Harry L. Whitt


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: