Speak the Same Language

by vernsanders on June 8, 2012

Last time, I talked about why it is important to Tear Down the Silos in leadership.

This time I want to talk about vocabulary.

In many leadership encounters vocabulary is a significant problem. You know…the you say tomato, I say tomahto kind, only it is more like you say sermon, I say music. I thought about this the other day when I was walking down the street, and passed a gardener. He made an assumption and said “Hi.” I made an assumption and said “Ola.” Neither one of us was wrong, and once it came out there was no way to go back. We both meant well, and tried to adapt to what our expectations of what the other might want to hear. We were trying to communicate. But in spite of our best efforts, we were like two ships passing in the night.

Is that what it is like in your church meetings?

At some level, the only way out of this problem (it’s a language silo) is to talk to each other, and use the same vocabulary. That can be tough when both parties have advanced degrees in arcane subjects like theology and music. But if you can have a conversation with a “regular” person, you can have a conversation with a staff colleague. Somebody’s got to adjust, and, of course it is better if you both meet in the middle. But it can be done.

One thing, though… if you are having trouble communicating, you probably won’t fix it overnight. Start slow, work from the easy stuff toward the hard stuff, and exercise a lot of patience. Explain rather than attack. Clarify rather than assume. Work together. (I’m beginning to sound like a 60s anthem…sigh…)

What has worked for you? Please leave a comment and let me know what made a difference.

Ipod shuffle status (What is this?): 4115 (Touch Your Soul -Phoebe Snow)  of 7875

Get my EBook The Choir in Modern Worship



Previous post:

Next post: