Friday, June 10, 2011

More on the topic of listening

1. John Maxwell's recent book sounds worth the read. Get the gist of Everyone Communicates, Few Connect: What the Most Effective People Do Differently in David Mays' Book Notes.

2. There's a new iPhone app to measure who does the most talking in a conversation. Sounds like it could use some tweaking, though, and I bet most of us have a pretty good idea of the communication dynamics around us. The Talk-o-Meter can prove what you may already suspect (source: GOOD). Though I don't think we need a 50/50 split to have a good conversation. Some people really seem to guard their right to remain silent. What do you think?

3. The ministry team I'm part of has what seems to me a good model for facilitating regular group sharing on our conference calls. Each person has two minutes to share a personal report and/or item for prayer. After each person talks, the leader appoints or asks for a volunteer to pray for that person, and then the pray-er shares his or her update. Things move pretty quickly; and all nine of us have a chance to hear from each other and be heard in 20-30 minutes.

4. One of our group's core values is listening. The Church Partnerships Team was formed to serve as a point of personal connection between Pioneers and the several thousand churches that send out and support missionaries through our agency. It's not fund-raising or recruitment, though there is a significant "PR" element. Typical conversations between church ministry leaders and church partnership facilitators focus on trying to understand the world of the church leaders and explore ways we can help them and collaborate.

I can't see myself working as a partnership facilitator full-time like most of my colleagues - I seem to do better a bit more behind the scenes. Calling and meeting with church leaders may be a job best left to the guys-with-ties. But it's an honor to be part of their work. Lots of shared values. Sometimes I miss the companionship of a face-to-face team, though.

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