Kenny White's Blog

I’m sorry there is a dog in the freezer! (That’s not what a freezer is for)

By October 21, 2017 Leadership, Personal Development, Uncategorized

Have you ever had one of those “WHAT IN THE WORLD” kind of days? I sure have! In fact, I just had one! I couldn’t believe it! It started with helping a friend of mine move a freezer. That’s not a bad deal… I like this guy and enjoy hanging out with him. He has helped me and it was a joy to help him… plus he makes me laugh!

Dog in the Freezer:

So we went to his neighbor’s house to help move a freezer. The neighbor was polite but not overly nice.  (I’m going to fast forward a little). As I approached the open freezer the neighbor said, “um, well, I have a dog in the freezer.” So… I quickly decided to respond in a way that might be equally as shocking. I said, “M’am, I don’t care what you eat! I won’t judge you!” Apparently, it did the trick. Seeing her face turn white was well worth the comment. She immediately shared that she had not found time to bury her dog and assured me that is why it was in the freezer. She became much nicer after my comment and even joked around with us a bit. But here is what immediately stood out to me… that freezer was not intended to hold an animal for burial.

What were we made for: 

A person can use a freezer to hold an animal for burial but that is not why the freezer was created! It was made for us to keep our food until we are ready to thaw it out and eat it! It is intended to give us life, not to preserve death. That also got me thinking… We were intended to give life and not preserve (or wait around for) death!

We can live sub-par lives and wonder into all types of useless endeavors but we weren’t made for that!!! Even at a cursory reading of the creation account found in Genesis 1 & 2 (and John 1) there are some things that stand out:

We are created for community:

God exists in three persons –  We notice that immediately He is in community, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. We were not intended to be alone. In fact, we are told that “it is not good” for us to be alone! We are meant for community… how are you doing with that? We could live (for a short time) without it… but we weren’t made for that!

We are created for creativity:

The first thing we know about God is from Genesis and we learn that He is creative! “In the beginning, God created…” From nothing, something! He’s awesome! Not to ruin the punch line BUT because we were created in His image then a big part of who we are is being creative (click here for how we see ourselves)! We can choose to be boring… but we weren’t made for that!

We are created for good… very good:

We were created on purpose and for purpose (click here to learn about being created on purpose and for purpose) Genesis 1:27 states, “So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” Then we read that “…God blessed them…” At the end of the day God looks over His creation and says that it is good, “very good”! That’s how the Creator of the universe sees us, His creation – VERY GOOD! We could do evil… but we weren’t made for that! 

We are created in His image:

The highest of all compliments has already been alluded to… WE HAVE BEEN CREATED IN THE IMAGE OF GOD! Wow! No other creature gets that honor! This is not said of anything, not even the angels! This unique and high honor is reserved for humans! God must have something special in mind for humans that He created them in His image! That’s so cool! We can choose to act like we are not special, we could wonder aimlessly around and pretend that our lives don’t matter… but we weren’t made for that!

Conclusion:

Getting back to living in such a way that we reflect the purpose of why we were created makes us reconsider our lives (click here to learn about your next steps). I wonder if angels look at human beings in shock when we live less than we could! I wonder if they gasp when when the unique creation called, humans, wonder around functioning in a way that we were not created for. Don’t be like the freezer that I moved, used to preserve death! LIVE LIFE… we were made for that!

AS ALWAYS… BECOME GREATER BY POINTING UP AND MOVING FORWARD!

– Kenny White

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When Superman Dies (Grieving My Dad’s Loss)

By October 3, 2017 Mentorship, Personal Development, Uncategorized

I remember hearing the words… “Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s a bird! It’s a plane… It’s Superman!” Superman was indestructible. Every week when watching Superman there was a threat! Yet Superman was always willing to sacrifice his well being for the well being of others. However, in each episode Superman won! He could not lose. I think that is why it was such a shocker when seeing the ending scene of Batman V. Superman. Superman was not just defeated he was dead… and buried!  I remember walking out of the theater dejected! Hurt! I can’t really explain why… until the last day of Summer this year… my dad died.

Superman was not supposed to die… and neither should my dad! As a boy, I remember seeing dad as a super man. Perhaps one reason was that he said Superman was his brother and they were separated at birth (I think I believed that until I was 12 years old… don’t judge me he was a REALLY good storyteller)! Perhaps it was because my dad is who I saw everyday being… well… a man. I watched how he interacted with my mother, with me, with my brother, how he worked at the house, how he laughed and wove a story. I marveled at who he was and held on to every word, every tickle, every moment. To me dad was Superman! Not saving the world (or even Lois Lane) but rather he was the picture of how a man should be and he seemed super! He was the pinnacle of who I could be. So when my dad died… I didn’t know what to do!

If I’m telling the truth (and I am), I have to say that I still don’t know what to do with the loss of my dad but I am learning to point up and move forward. As I process my dad’s death here is what I am reminded of…

Everyone has influence

My dad worked in shipping and receiving over 30 years. He thought he did not have much influence but his life lessons and stories have influenced me and many others. His “life celebration” service was full (we thought it was lame to call it a “memorial service”! We thought about saying “Funeral” but decided against it even though dad thought we should put the “fun” back in “funeral” [I’m telling you he just looked at stuff a little different than most people])! He would often say things like “I’m satisfied with not leading.” But that is the paradox of life we can’t not lead. John Maxwell says that influence is leadership and everyone influences. So dad was very influential in his own way! I am reminded that everyone has influence.

Everyone dies

I hate this one! I catch myself reflecting on Genesis 1-3 and think… “what if Adam and Eve wouldn’t have messed it all up for all of us?!?!”We would have lived together… FOREVER! However, sin has infected all of us! Hebrews 9:27 – says “…it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment…” Lest we think we are immortal on this side of eternity we need to live in the reality that one day even the super-est of men and women will die.  

We will meet again

I hate that we die but I am thankful that we don’t just go back to the earth. We have been given great hope in 2 Cor 5:6-8… “So we are always confident, knowing that while we are at home in the body we are absent from the Lord. For we walk by faith, not by sight. We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” For those who have surrendered to Christ (who is even better than Superman), they have been given eternal life and we will spend it together! Though my heart grieves I can say with gratitude that “it is not goodbye, just, I will see you later!” So… Dad, I’ll see you later! 

Christ is the ultimate example

As I alluded to earlier, Christ is our ultimate example. My dad was great but he had his flaws (just like every person before him and every person after him). Therefore, Paul’s words are especially meaningful as I consider my dad, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ.” So as I consider the life of my dad and remember his legacy I will imitate those things that reflect Christ (less I unwittingly worship him which sometimes happens after someone passes).

Closing thoughts:

“Faster than a speeding bullet! More powerful than a locomotive! Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound! It’s a bird! It’s a plane… It’s Superman!” Superman was indestructible… I thought. However, even Superman dies. Like Superman, but in different ways, my dad made sacrifices but the ultimate sacrifice was made by Christ on the cross. On the last day of Summer this year! … my dad died. I will miss him, hurt for him and I will also celebrate his life and the lessons he taught me! Dad was a super man!

These are the things I am learning. Perhaps you have had a similar experience. Please post your thoughts in the comments below.

 

Remembering my dad, Kenneth Lee White – My Superman

March 8, 1954 – September 21, 2017

 

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Public Speaking: From Know Fear to No Fear… Part Dos

By August 10, 2017 Communication, Personal Development

It has happened to you! Cold sweats! Heart racing! People looking at you and your mind goes blank! Afterwards, you thought, “I WILL NEVER DO THIS AGAIN!” I directed a question to folks on Facebook. The question was to people who fear public speaking. I asked them what they thought caused them fear. Interestingly, all responses were able to be placed in two categories. The first category was “preparation”. (Need to hear part uno of this post… CLICK HERE!) The second category we will address today is “Looks.”

People find themselves fearful when speaking to groups. Their fears manifest in questions such as “what if they judge me,” “what if my zipper is down,” and “what if I can’t keep their attention”. Please understand these fears attack every speaker. In this post, we will look at how we should address this major category. Take heart and know that you can speak with confidence to any group. The following techniques will help you tremendously! (This might help… 7 things to consider when speaking… CLICK HERE.)

Techniques: 

Dress up – People generally give credibility to those who look nice. This is a general principle and does not always hold up. So dress a little better than the audience. Know ahead of time what your audience will look like and dress one step above. This will give you confidence. Do yourself a favor and look in a mirror before you go on stage (NOTE: check your zipper and your nose for even more confidence :)).

Not that much – Don’t dress so much above the audience that it is a distraction. Dressing up too much can cause judgement or even laughter in your direction. One of the worse outcomes could be that members of the audience feel like they do not belong there because they are so under-dressed. It is easy to be overly self aware and that can become a distraction. Be confident and dress appropriately (NOTE: did I mention that you should look in a mirror and confirm that your zipper is up and that your nose… is… ummm… well… you know… “no bats in the belfry”?).

Body language before speaking – There is evidence that body language can produce confidence. I am no expert in that topic but I have experienced it. Please take a few moments and watch social psychologist, Amy Cuddy. She does a great job of communicating the power of body language. (Click Here) After watching Amy’s TED Talk I learned how to utilize her techniques before speaking. It has been very empowering! Use it and see!

Body language while speaking – It seems that there is always a stat for how much of our interpersonal communication is found in our body language. There is some debate on which stat is correct but don’t miss the point! A large amount of our communication is through body language. So we must be careful as to how we stand (are we crossing our arms, is our back to a portion of the audience too long, etc.). You will gain additional credibility with good non-verbals!

Visualize – I mentioned this one in part uno (You probably want to CLICK HERE.). However, this is an important part of how you look. As stated in part uno, “Take some time to visualize the entire message. How will people respond to you? How do you want them to respond to you? How will you best facilitate that response?” This technique will help to build confidence.

Pray – All of the above mentioned stuff is great! However, there is something calming and affirming about spending time in prayer. Speaking to the Creator about the message He has put on your heart and empowered you to speak is necessary to prepare yourself and others! God hears our prayers! He cares and loves you! (Want to know about God’s love… CLICK HERE)

YOU GOT THIS!!! You do not have to fear! You do not have fret! You have been created with purpose and a message! Boldly, speak it! Remember, you have been given the ability that is needed and you will be amazed as you practice these techniques at how you have confidence and a message that will help others. (Check out this blog on being created on purpose and with purpose).

For advance techniques that will really help you feel comfortable upfront please see Josh Foer’s TED Talks (Click here for advance techniques.) If you have other ideas please post below! I would love to hear from you!

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Public Speaking: From Know Fear to No Fear…Part Uno

By August 8, 2017 Communication, Personal Development

Does the idea of public speaking scare the boogers right out of you? Do you start to get nervous? Does it feel like your brain shuts down and you can’t think? Well… I get it! I recently reached out to some friends on Facebook and asked the question to those who “fear public speaking,” “what causes that fear”. The response varied. Some people fear what others will say. Others fear what they will say. Some feel judged while others feel like they have nothing to say. It was very interesting as I read through the comments. Therefore, I want to share with you the first of two categories that everyone who responded fell into and how to address them. Meet Preparation!

Preparation: So here is the thing. NO ONE feels prepared enough. Even when speaking on a topic that one has spoken on hundreds of times there are always doubts that go through your head. No matter if you fear the importance or relevance of what you might say or what you look like the following is a checklist with some associated thoughts.

Prepare – Know your subject. Sometimes asking some questions will help you organize your thoughts so that you can better present your thoughts. Here are some questions you may want to ask:

  • Why are you giving this speech? Is it persuasive? Is it informational? Are you pushing for an action?
  • Ask all the questions…. “who,” “what,” “when,” “where,” “how,” and the most important AGAIN… “WHY”.

Practice – If you can practice in the area that you are going to speak that is the best. This will give you confidence in the space you are working in. If you can’t practice there practice somewhere. Imagine what it will be like in the space you will speak. (Great segue for the next thought.)

Visualize – Take some time to visualize the entire message. How will people respond to you? How do you want them to respond to you? How will you best facilitate that response? Do any changes need to be made after practicing once or twice or three times or…? Visualize a response ~ THE response that you are looking for! How will they do it? In what way could they respond? How will you help them get there?

I want you to know that you can do this! You have been given the ability that is needed because you were created with purpose (Check out this blog on being created on purpose and with purpose). Part 2 to this blog will address “looks” the second category that most people fall into!

 

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Unleash Your Inner Wonder Woman (Developmental Principles Found In The Movie Wonder Woman and confirmed through the life of Joseph)

By July 31, 2017 Leadership, Personal Development

Have you ever wanted to be… um… BETTER? Recently, a string of movies and pop culture icons have shown the negative side of our heroes! Someone had to change the template! I am so thankful for the movie, Wonder Woman which chose to shatter the modern trend. A movie that takes a look at a young girl and shows her develop into a hero! Those developmental principles are also shown in the life of Joseph from Genesis. Lets look at these two heroes while comparing them to these developmental principles.

There are many things we can learn from this movie (and from the Bible for that matter). However, we will focus on time tested developmental principles. If we practice these principles we will grow and unleash our inner hero that we were intended to be!

7 Developmental Principles:

1 – Dream and find your purpose

Early in the movie we see young Diana (AKA Wonder Woman), starry-eyed and wanting to be trained… knowing that her life is important and should not be wasted!  We have seen this played out in the lives of many people throughout history but perhaps none more obvious than what we see from the biblical patriarch, Joseph (see Gen 37). He knew he was created for a purpose greater than what he was experiencing.

We were created with purpose (insightful blog on “being created with purpose” – click here https://goo.gl/y68PYt)! Many people accept an existence that is lackluster! Don’t do it! There is something more, something better! Go get it!

2 – Be trained by the best

Diana finally gets permission to be trained by the greatest Amazon warrior ever. She accepts the training and jumps into it! She completely engages this training… by the best trainer ever!

Joseph went through similar developmental principles. He did not get a choice in who trained him… because he is sold into slavery! He quickly climbs in the house of Potiphar. The LORD is with him and whatever he does prospers.  

So how does that work for us? Most of us don’t get the opportunity to go to Harvard or be mentored by Warren Buffet. But we all have opportunities. Jumping on those opportunities is key for us to be trained. Being trained by the best might mean… the best for us or the best for us for now. Seize the opportunity!

3 – Train as hard as you can

Diana seemed to love her training. At one point Diana unleashes the full power of her bracelets. This came after a lot of training and her response to a particular attack by her mentor (a part of her training).  The only way for her to figure out the full extent of her ability was to be trained and fully engage in the training! Diana did that!

In the life of Joseph, we don’t see the same type of training that Diana engaged in but we do see Joseph engage in his situation wholeheartedly! He is taken to prison unfairly. He suffers in prison unfairly and it is there that he is rescued and through a series of divinely appointed situations he becomes the 2nd in command of Egypt! No doubt there must have been times of frustration and hurt, however, he lives out Col 3:23 and therefore trains as hard as he can accepting every situation as God-given and making the best use of every situation.

What situation is life throwing at us that we are struggling with? Can we accept it and use it as training? If so, how?

4 – Follow your purpose

Diana had to make a difficult decision. She had to leave what was familiar and what she loved to follow her purpose. She had to go toward danger to achieve her purpose. Like Diana (Wonder Woman) Joseph had to make a decision. He stashed food reserves in anticipation of a big famine that will hit the entire region. His only proof of that happening is a dream that Pharaoh had. He chooses to follow his purpose by trusting the interpretation of a dream (he has had several dreams and interpreted them accurately). He saw that the LORD had uniquely gifted him. He follows his purpose.

So… how were you created? What is your gifting? Have you seen it confirmed? Then follow it!

5 – Network with people to help fulfill your purpose

The plot thickens! Diana is taken toward the war (where she thinks she will find her purpose). It requires her to network with a group of people to get where she needs to be. To accomplish her purpose she is going to need to work with people! So… SHE DOES! There could be an argument made that she is not good with people but to accomplish what she needs to accomplish she has to get to know people, trust people and work with people.

Joseph has to work with people to accomplish his goal. It requires a unique matrix of communication and trust. He is in a foreign land but his past has prepared him! Against the odds, he does it!

Write down a list of people that you can network with to help you accomplish your purpose. Who are they? Why did you pick them? Are there other people to network that may know someone who can help you? Who are they?

6 – Don’t depend on others to find your purpose

Toward the end, Diana has to part ways with her new friends. She has to stand alone… and she does. She is not dependent on others to accomplish her purpose. She is accountable for her purpose. Joseph was accountable for his purpose. He follows through. He is accountable.

No one else can fulfill our purpose! No one else is accountable for our purpose. No blaming others! We are accountable for fulfilling our purpose.

7 – Finding your purpose means you will have to allow others to find their purpose

The conclusion of Wonder Woman sees Diana go her way to fulfill her purpose and then her friends going their way to fulfill their purposes. Joseph had to allow his brothers to fulfill their purpose. When they come face to face with him he has to confront them and lead them to an opportunity to embrace their purpose and their ultimate training… and they do! 

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our purpose and training that we think everyone else should engage in our purpose. We can forget that our purpose is OUR purpose and not someone else’s purpose.Others have their purpose. Let them find it. 

Conclusion:

Wonder Woman walks through systematic steps in personal development. Joseph walks through systematic steps in personal development. Will we embrace these principles and grow?

 

If you enjoyed this blog you may also enjoy – Lessons on Communication from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 https://goo.gl/2yanP6

 

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Communication: Do you hate talking on the phone, texting, or emailing? (Pros and Cons)

By July 28, 2017 Communication, Leadership

So… what is your primary preferred way to communicate electronically? This is a hot topic! As a pastor, I have people who will only communicate one way and sometimes refuse to communicate any other way. FRUSTRATING! Especially when I have to connect quickly.

Let’s take some time to look at each medium and discuss pros and cons.

Talking:

Often this is the type of person who just does not enjoy their phone… better said “smartphone” or they grew up in a time where talking on the phone was a priority. When the phone rang in their home someone (or everyone) went running for the phone! They may say something like “texting or emailing doesn’t feel very personal.”  

Pros

We can hear the tone of the person speaking. We can carry a two-sided conversation. We can

 discuss more than the initial topic. The conversation can evolve and we can discuss even more! 

Cons 

It seems like it takes up more time. It requires the other person to immediately respond or be available. It can interrupt other priorities.   

Texting:

This is usually someone who grew with tech. To them texting seems natural and easy. It is an extension of how they communicate. It is what they know. They may feel like a phone call is too invasive and that an email is not quick enough.

Pros

Texting is easy. It allows for easy quick communication. It can be accomplished now!

Cons

It is always not personal. It is frustrating if the other person does not respond (and everyone is different on their response time). Texting requires texting capabilities. Issues like tone and body language are lost.  

Emailing:

This is generally preferred by the generation who lands between Boomers and Millennials, Gen X! They remember running for the phone and they bought the tech. But generally their preferred method is email.  

Pros

A lot of information can be shared all at once. We don’t have to wait for the other person to answer and therefore we can email whenever. Generally, phones are not set up to notify the receiver of emails (the phone rings and texts buzz).

Cons

It may take awhile before there is an answer. Tone is difficult to know in an email. Sometimes email is not as easily accessed. Conversations are poorly had on email.

In the end, each medium has it’s pros and cons. For leaders being willing to communicate in all three mediums is necessary. It will allow for good rapport and we do not want to lose rapport simply because we are unwillin

g to use one of the three communication mediums I mentioned above.

This is not an exhaustive list and so… I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter!  Which medium of communication do you prefer and why?

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Considerations for Public Speaking (A list of 7 things to consider before speaking to an audience)

By July 26, 2017 Communication, Personal Development

1 – Dress appropriately – If our audience is casual, be casual. If our audience is fancy, be fancy!  

2 – Know the material – Take the time to know the material inside and out. This seems like a no-brainer but I have heard enough people speak to know that “knowing the material” is not a given!

3 – Smile (when appropriate) – Some people don’t smile. That’s bad. It looks painful for the presenter and it feels painful for the audience. Others smile all the time… it seems like fear! Smile (when appropriate)!!!  

4 – Check the mic before going on stage. There are a few things more distracting then a mic that does not work… but VERY few!

5 – Prepare to be gracious – This is a mental preparation and it is needed. If we are not prepared ahead of time to be gracious we run the risk of being rude or unkind to people before and / or after our presentations. Also, people love grace (and we all need it)!  

6 – Prepare action items – There should be a good take away at the end of your message. At least one good action item that the hearer can do.

7 – Work with the tech – We should be aware of how our tech works at the facility that we are using. There are always issues of compatibility and the unique quarks of that facility’s tech department. Go early and have a plan b, plan c, plan d, plan e, etc.  

What are some additional things that should be prepared ahead of time when speaking? Please comment below! 

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Lessons on Communication from Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (There are definitely spoilers in this blog)

By July 26, 2017 Communication, Leadership, Mentorship, Personal Development

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 was one of the best movies of the summer. I think that if we keep our eyes, mind, and heart open we can learn from just about anything. That makes for some very teachable moments in GotG2. Before you read any further… Yes, there will be some spoilers in this blog. Also, if you have seen both movies then this will make WAAAAAAAAYYYY more sense 🙂

I would love to hear your thoughts about what you learned! The following is a list of a few lessons I think are worth thinking through!

1 – What is said is not always what is meant.

This is a very important point. Throughout both GotG and GotG2 we see tension between Peter Quill and Yondu. Peter is frustrated at Yondu and Yondu constantly holds the fact that he saved Peter from being eaten by the other Ravagers over Peter’s head. We later figure out that Yondu is really fond of Peter and was protecting him from a terrible fate. However, because Yondu does not know how to address his emotions / feelings his words are very harsh!

It is important for us to keep in mind that often times “what is said is not always what is meant.” This is not unique to Ravagers! People often say one thing while hiding what they really mean! A few things to consider when speaking with others (or in long term relationships) is:

– Consider body language – Often times our body language communicates what we really think / believe.

– Consider behavior (especially long term).

– Consider tone – Often tone communicates issues such as emphasis, anger, warmth, love, hate, etc.  

The best way to communicate is found in the words of Jesus, “let your yes be yes and your no, no.”

2 – Saying what you think can be fun (and embarrassing).

Drax is known for communicating what he is thinking. At times, Drax’s inability to not say exactly what he is thinking is very funny. Other times, his honesty about what he is thinking reveals his ignorance. Saying what we think can be very freeing and funny but speaking everything on our mind can show ignorance and foolishness! Beware!

The Bible has a lot to say about this matter – From prudence, to speaking without thinking, guarding our mouth is a very important thing to do as we communicate with others! (see Proverbs 12:22-23;18:6=7; 29:20; Isaiah 32:6)

3 – Response is age appropriate.

One of the best scenes is after the opening scene where we hear one of the best songs the world has ever known (obviously I’m talking about the song, Brandy from Looking Glass). We then get to see baby Groot dancing and barely dodging life threatening situations. At one point Gamora yells to Groot to leave and get out of danger. Groot does not understand (or maybe does not care). Groot simply waves at Gamora. Gamora does not get upset but simply responds to him appropriately, almost motherly!

Sometimes we are locked in on what we want to communicate the way that we want to communicate it. It is very important that we not get caught up in ourselves but rather communicate the message that is needed to be heard. What is the message and what is the age appropriate way to communicate the message?

I am reminded of Paul’s urge to the fathers in the book Ephesians where he warns the fathers to not exasperate their children. Harsh communication or communication that is not age appropriate can cause such exasperation whether that is your child or not.

4 – Sacrifice is an action and communicates love.

Yondu ultimately gives his life up for Peter. He shows that he values Peter by ultimately giving his life. Peter lives because Yondu give up his life. That sacrifice showed Peter that Yondu loved him despite the words that Yondu used.

Do you know anyone like that? A teacher who did not care if they made you mad but seemed to pick on you? A coach that pushed you beyond what you thought was possible? A parent who sacrificed and worked multiple jobs so you did not go without but did not use the word “love” when talking to you? Could it be that they were really saying “I love you” with their sacrifice?

Again the words of Jesus jump out at us and we are reminded of his words that “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friend.”

Closing:

Communication is important no matter what planet you are from. However, we have a unique need to be understood. GotG2 is a great example of seeing the need to communicate. There were so many things that we could have picked out from the movie but I think these four should keep us talking and learning for awhile!

Please feel free to share additional thoughts you have on this subject below!

 

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3 Common Problems when Communicating to Others

By July 21, 2017 Communication, Leadership, Personal Development

Recently, I asked my friends on Facebook to share some of their biggest problems that they have when communicating with others. To my surprise people started to share… and share. It was great! When everything was said and done I found that I was not alone with my own weaknesses in communicating. I found myself very encouraged.

I began to study some of the common problems and I wanted to share a few thoughts. Enjoy as we walk through 3 common problems when communicating to others!

1 – Over communicate

Sometimes we want people to know what we are thinking or we want them to understand the entire story. This often comes from a desire to get people to better understand where we are coming from or to share our experience. However, the result is often people checking out or not wanting to talk to us (unless they have a couple of hours). So what do you do?

  1. Try thinking through the main point that you want to tell them.
  2. Tell them that point.
  3. Use the story as an illustration for the point.
  4. Leave off unimportant information that does not help further the point / narrative.
  5. If you see them starting to check out (eyes glass over, drool, yawning, etc.) then wrap the story up. 🙂

2 – Interrupting

This is a huge problem and very frustrating. It often happens that someone is really engaged in a conversation but they hear a word or idea that immediately triggers another thought and they desperately don’t want to lose the thought. So… they interrupt. The intention is mostly innocent but it is a bad habit. Here are a few thoughts…

  1. When someone is talking, let them finish… even if they are very slow and your mind out performs their words a million to one… LET THEM FINISH!
  2. If you have an important thought that you don’t want to forget then figure out a signal to remind yourself of what to say (I use sign language. I make the first letter of the word that I want to remember in my right hand. When the other person has finished speaking I am reminded what I want to say because of the letter I am signing. You may have other even more helpful ideas. Use them.).
  3. Consider others better than yourself. Before speaking, consider how this interruption is going to make them feel. I had a conversation with someone recently. They kept asking me questions and when I started to answer they would interrupt and keep going. That happened a dozen times! Super frustrating! I wondered if I was even needed in the conversation!

3 – Insecurity

There are times when we speak to people that we become insecure. It can be due to not feeling adequate with the subject or the person with whom we are speaking. It can also be due to feeling inadequate about our self! Here are a few additional ideas to help with insecurity while speaking.

  1. Have some confidence in who you are! You were created in the image of God (Gen 1). Keep your head up, maintain eye contact (not in a weird way), throw your shoulders back and remember that “God never made junk!”
  2. Remember what your grandma said, “They put their pants on the same way you do!” Who knows, they probably struggle with similar insecurities. It’s okay!
  3. In all fairness, don’t speak with authority on topics that you do not understand. Listen and ask questions.

These are just 3 common problems. However, there are many! Can you relate to these problems or do you have other problems that you struggle with while communicating? Keep your head up and I look forward to hearing from you (post below)!

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7 Stages to a Great Apology

By July 21, 2017 Communication, Mentorship, Personal Development

When we mess up, what do we do? Many people just like to act like nothing happened. Some people like to shift the blame to others. I want to give another thought. APOLOGIZE!!!

How in the world do I give a good apology? That is a question that has plagued mankind for thousands of years! Hang in there! There is an answer!

I am forever grateful to Rick Stein, Specialist of Alliance Peacemaking,

for his incredible patience in teaching and training me on the 7 A’s of confession from Peacemaker Ministries! Let me share with you the “7 A’s of confession” or what we might call the “7 Stages of a great apology”. I have had the great opportunity to put this into practice… a lot! I hope you learn from my mess ups!   

1.Address everyone involved

When we offend others it is very important to address everyone. We should not ask someone to represent us with others. Addressing everyone allows us to be able to show that we are remorseful and that we do care.

2.Avoid if, but, maybe

Have you ever heard something like… “I am sorry if you felt that way,” or “I am sorry but maybe you should not have…” or “I am sorry, however, maybe you should have behaved…”? Yeah, SAME! Those are not apologies! They don’t own anything! Avoiding words like “if, but and maybe” are necessary for clearly communicating an apology.  

3.Admit specifically

Nobody likes hemming and hawing! Nobody likes vagueness when it comes to an apology! Nobody likes feeble attempts at being sorry. When someone offers an apology without admitting to the specific issue at hand it does not feel like they are owning their part and consequently it does not feel like an apology.

4.Acknowledge the hurt

We got to get out of our own skin and look through someone else’s eyes and acknowledge the hurt that the person is feeling. We might ask, “how would I feel if someone did this to me”. Once we answer that question it is pretty safe to say that the person to whom we are apologizing to feels the same way!  Acknowledge the hurt.

5.Accept the consequences

Sometimes our actions have the consequence of not being trusted or hurt. That often is not fixed with an apology. It may take time to heal and consistency with a new behavior. They may get huffy or even reject our apology. That’s on them. We must be willing to accept the consequences.  

6.Alter our behavior

A real apology shows that a behavior (words or actions) need to be changed. The way to show that we mean our apology is that there is a behavior change. That a behavior will be altered.  

7.Ask for forgiveness

Finally, we should use our words and ask for forgiveness.

Prayerfully, consider these steps. Perhaps right relationships make us feel good because right relationships honor God!

Do you have other suggestions or ideas? Please feel free to share them!   

 

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