Welcome to the third article in my introductory series on being Quick to Hear in our communication. In this article, I begin to introduce the new aspects Quick to Hear brings to the original communication models I developed for training intelligence personnel and law enforcement officers. If you would like to go back to the beginning of the series, you can find the first article here and the second article here.
Before we move on, let’s review the practical exercise I gave you at the end of the last article. Did you think about some occasions when you had a meeting, interview, sales call, or other conversation that did not go well? When you thought about applying a more deliberate and effective communication style, did you see a way you could have overcome the problem and achieved your goal? Recognizing that how we communicate is important and maintaining a deliberate approach is fundamental to communicating effectively. Even more importantly, it is fundamental to communicating as God would have us communicate. We will begin considering that aspect of communication in this article.
Quick to Hear and the Smart Talk Model
Quick to Hear updates the three part of the model as follows:
- The Guideline – guides our communication and provides focus; beginning with the context through to achieving our goal for the interaction. Quick to Hear understands there is a higher purpose for our communication.
- The Apostle Paul reminds us that we should do all to the glory of God (1 Cor. 10:31). Therefore the ultimate goal of our communication is God’s glory.
- The verse above also reminds us that we have a guide for our communication. That is the Word of God. Paul, Peter, James, John, David, Solomon, and all the inspired authors of both the Old and New Testaments have much to share with us about God’s standards for our communication.
- We will look closely at this step in a future article.
- Think and Feel – describes the internal processes we use to better understand others and determine the proper response. There are four steps to this part of the model.
- This part of the model, as well as the four steps: listen, think, feel, and plan are much the same as the Smart Talk model, but they are now informed by God’s Word.
- We will discuss each of the steps in future articles, but let me share a few thoughts here. The first step, listen, is fundamental to Quick to Hear. We are to be quick to carefully listen to what others are communicating to us, before trying to understand and respond. It is careful listening that gives us the information we need to understand.
- The final three steps, think, feel, and plan represent three aspects of our inner life: the mind, the heart, and the will. Oftentimes in Scripture, these three aspects are combined and simply referred to as the heart.
- This is important, for the Bible has much to say about the heart. Jeremiah writes “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it” (Jer. 17:9, ESV)? Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These are what defile a person (Matt. 7:21-22a, ESV).
- But, because of Jesus Christ, our hearts and our communication has been redeemed and we can, with the help of the Holy Spirit, love God with our hearts, souls, and minds, and our neighbors as ourselves. We can communicate redemptively.
- Say and Do – consists of the deliberate actions we take, based on our understanding, to move the interaction towards our objectives and ultimately our goal.
- Because of sin, we face many challenges in our talk and our behavior. James writes, “no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so” (Jam. 3:8-10, ESV).
- James and other biblical writers, however, give guidance on how to improve our communication and relationships with others. Paul, for instance, speaks often of putting off the old sinful ways and putting on Christ (Eph. 4, Col 3). We will explore these further when we consider this aspect of Quick to Hear.
Let’s try the following practical exercise as we think about developing more godly communication practices over the next week. Begin thinking about all that God has to say about communication. Think about Bible verses you may know. Look for guidelines as you read the Bible over the coming week. Listen closely as the Scriptures are read and preached at church. Begin to make a list of all what God has to say about right communication. You will find that godly communication will lead to improved relationships…with God and with our neighbor.
I look forward to starting our closer look at the Quick to Hear approach next time, beginning with the Guideline.
Be swift to quick and slow to speak,