Quick to Hear?
Over ten years ago, while overseeing training programs for new human intelligence officers, I wanted to develop a model for interpersonal communication that would help my students communicate more deliberately and more effectively. I developed the model based on the process we used as intelligence officers to produce intelligence. I knew of no more deliberate or effective process. The result was the Intelligent Communication Model.
As I continued to develop and teach this model, I became to realize more and more the centrality of effective listening to good communication. Communication is a two-way process: receiving and responding. We cannot respond well unless we receive well. Further, I realized that most people simply are not very good listeners.
I recalled the sage advice James gave to his readers in the first century, “let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak” (James 1:19, ESV). Clearly listening is important, perhaps of first importance in communication over speaking. And there was other biblical guidance that was in line with the model I had created. To the church in Ephesus, Paul wrote, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear” (Ephesians 4:29, ESV). One could derive three rules for speech from this verse. Our speech should be edifying (good for building up), necessary (as fits the occasion), and gracious (give grace to those who hear). In order to ensure that our speech meets these requirements, we need a process to consider both what we hear and see from others and what we think about what we hear and see. Further, we need to consider this information not only from our own perspective, but from others’ perspectives as well. How else can we know our responses will be edifying, necessary, and gracious?
The Quick to Hear approach is an update of my original Intelligent Communication model. The Quick to Hear approach includes important guidance from God’s Word. Like Intelligent Communication, it provides a simple and repeatable process to do just to help you communicate biblically and effectively.
I am a minister in the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, as well as a retired intelligence and counterintelligence officer. In addition to my Masters of Divinity degree, I have completed a post graduate program in strategic intelligence and hold an MS in forensic psychology. I am also a certified Master Practitioner of the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. I have been developing and conducting interpersonal communication training around the world. I developed and teach an approach to interpersonal communication based on my experience in the intelligence field and my academic research in intelligence and psychology. I called this approach Intelligent Communication. As I have continue to study what the Bible has to say about communication I have refined my approach reflect what God reveals to us about effective communication. In fact, God has a great deal to say about communication. The name Quick to Hear comes from James’ letter, where he tells his readers, “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” (1:19, ESV).
I love to research, practice, and teach interpersonal communication skills to anyone who will listen, admitting that I’m still learning himself. I am confident that you will find the Quick to Hear and effective biblically sound yet simple approach to interpersonal communication that can be used by everyone in both their professional and personal lives to improve the way they interact with other people.
My wife Susan and I live in Danville, PA. In addition to working with Quick to Hear, I am an Education and Training Coordinator for the J.M. Smucker Company. Susan is a counselor at a residential facility for troubled girls. We have four grown children, five granddaughters, and a grandson on the way. We are also ever hopeful Pittsburgh Pirate fans.