As a church leader, do you struggle to get your ideas across to your staff? Are you pouring a lot of energy into messages, but don’t feel like anyone is motivated to act on them?
Communicating in a way that captures attention and inspires action is an art. There’s one communication principle that effective communicators understand when it comes to conveying their thoughts effectively.
The How > What Principle
At Church Community Builder, our mission is to help “lead churches to a better how.” We’ve seen many churches jump straight to the “what” after defining the “why” without really taking the time to strategically think through the “how.” While that may sound complicated, you’ve probably experienced this during your ministry. For example, perhaps you started a new service without thinking about how you were going to promote it and then you were surprised when it didn’t grow strong.
Over the years, we’ve learned that the “how” is just as important, if not more, than the “what” you’re going to do. The effectiveness of your communication as a pastor, leader, staff member, peer, boss, or employee is directly related to “how” you communicate your message.
Two Keys to Implementing this Communication Principle
Learning “how” to communicate can be difficult because people listen and learn differently. This is where a lot of leaders struggle. They’ll communicate the same way with their staff as they do their congregation or even their family. The problem stems from the fact that they way you communicate with some audiences doesn’t work with others.
So what a can we do?
There are two ways to ensure that “how” you’re communicating connects with your audiences:
- Diversify the “how.”
Because people learn and listen differently, create multiple channels to communicate your message. Diversify your methods to test which methods work best for each audience. No one method will reach everybody.
- Keep it simple.
You may understand your point because you’ve thought it through for an extended amount of time. However, it’s not that obvious to others. Break down the details, and be overly obvious. It will help people understand your message.
By diversifying the way you communicate and keeping your message simple, you’ll be able focus on how you communicate—and then what you communicate will start to make a difference in those who hear it.
How do you use this communication principle to better connect with your audiences? What other practical communication advice would you give to leaders who are struggling to communicate effectively?