Footsteps in Faith: Effective communication is an important, yet lost, art

| June 20, 2014 | 1 Comment


Chaplain (Maj.) Keith Hamilton
Alimanu Military Reservation Chapel
We all have the ability to communicate, but not all of us possess the skills of effective communication.
I was not an effective communicator until my college days, and that was a process.
I believe that effective communication is a lost art, because we are all trying to make a point and not connecting. It is like tossing a fishing hook into the water without bait and expecting to catch fish.
It is incumbent on us to understand that communication is more than us trying to counter just to get our points across. Rather, it is getting to know others by connecting and building relationships. It is important to find out as much as you can about those with whom we are trying to impart or interchange information. Relationships make communication easier.

What is effective communication?
Effective communication is a clear understanding of what is communicated between two or more parties. The heart of communication is intent. What is the purpose of this, and what is it that we are hoping to accomplish? Others may not be able to see intent right away, but over time, intentions become clear because we are not being shy or hesitant with it.
I do not subscribe to the school of thought that says, “It does not matter the method as long as we get it done.”
New gadgets and technologies prevent us from truly connecting by interfacing and building relationships. For example, I know couples who will be in the same house and text each other from different rooms.
Effective communication is important for everyone. Being an effective communicator evolves with time, just like the quality of good wine is in its fermentation process. We need to be careful of the language we use with each other and be uplifting with our words.
Regardless of where we are on the continuum, I believe we can all improve.
Ephesians 4:29 encourages beneficial communication:

“Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”

Although this text specifically addresses verbal communication, the principle applies to all forms of communication.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

Comments (1)

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  1. Kim Hamlin says:

    Great article Chaplain Hamilton. I am trying to start my own business as a communications consultant with this basic premise in mind. I too believe that effective communicating is fast becoming lost. In spite of the vast amount of communications tools that we now have, we are no longer communicating effectively. It is sad and, I believe, so many of our problems could be solved with better communications…less marriages ending in divorce, less unemployment problems, less foreign relations problems, etc, etc.

    Thanks again, great article!

    Kim Hamlin
    (Formerly known as Army Specialist Fields)

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