Thursday, January 6, 2011

Disconnected

Sometime last year, I received a copy of John Maxwell's book Everyone Communicates, Few Connect.  It was a freebie that Michael Hyatt was giving away on his blog.  (side note: if I ever get to be a famous blogger, I'll give away more books than I do now.  Right now, I'm a receiver on this, and hope to someday give.)

As I've read this book, I've seen something in me that I don't like, and that I'm striving to change.  It's actually summarized in the parenthetical above about books.  Often in communication, I'm taking more than I'm giving.  I have a broadcast mentality, and that's not all that effective for building relationships.

That's a change I want to make.  Right now, I broadcast. Really. I write blog posts that people, at least a few, read.  I preach sermons.  I teach longer-than-necessary Sunday School lessons.  My sermons go out as podcasts.  This is all one-directional communication.

I see this blending into my personal life as well.  There are times when my wife and I should be having a conversation, but really we end up exchanging monologues. I get involved in the homeschool process to give a lecture, but rarely to do questions and answers.  And when I do, it's still one sided.

So, one of my goals, resolutions perhaps, in the coming year is that I will work to be more interactive.  Move into, well, the 21st Century.  I do remember when the web was a one-sided thing, and now it's a two-way conversation.

My efforts will certainly fall short, and I'm not going to abandon the traditional sermon and go to a groovy new format.  I am well aware that mass communication is a part of life, and a useful part at that.  However, that can't be all of life.  So, I want to sit down and listen.  Respond to the questions being asked.

This will be a challenge for me.  It's much easier to trade broadsides, but that will never draw close to others.

So, for you, dear readers, two questions and a request:

1.  Generally speaking: what do you think are the more important parts of communication between people?

2.  Specifically: What can you do to help your life contain conversations and not broadsides?

3. Personally, a request: How can I communicate better with you?

 

Doug

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