Vital Optimism and Communication

I have a running joke with a good friend of mine. He calls me a preacher. I say - I am not a preacher! That is not a positive word in our culture today. I am a Communicator. I communicate on Sunday mornings, in mid-size communities, in small groups, through writing books, blogs and tweets... in large and small ways - I am a communicator. Okay, okay! I am also a preacher. It is a good word and it is a great calling. It is just that the connotations of that word are so bad in our post-Christendom culture. So when I can, I communicate...

But that is not my point for this post. 

Here's my point. I have been listening to quite a few "communicators" in recent weeks. Typically I only listen to communicators when I am driving and have the radio turned on to catch part of the radio preachers. I generally don't watch videos of preaching... but I have been. 

This is still not my point, but I am getting closer to it.

Six Top Mistakes in Difficult Conversations

I am just back from a trip to Chile and Argentina where I had the privilege of working with missional leaders and helping train their teams. I am so very blessed with the heart and dedication of these friends and partners in God's Beautiful Kingdom.

The problem has been a very busy last six weeks (that included a trip to Holland and to France for similar ministry and then a week of being sick with bronchitis) that has made it quite challenging to find time for blogging.

My rhythm is definitely off. But I will put up a few links over the next several days until I am able to get back into a mode of blogging.

Here is a link to The Top Six Mistakes Managers Make When Having Difficult Conversations.

10 Presentation and Communication Tips

This is an updated post with the Link Live and Working. Sorry about that for those of you who tried to access it.

Communicating is harder than ever in our culture.

Communicating the story and Gospel of Christ (that is offensive by the way, when we preach it biblically) needs the greatest resources we can muster as communicators.

It does not matter how powerful and true your ideas are if you are unable to communicate them with clarity, conviction and in a way that mobilizes the listener.

So I am always grateful for the communication insights from Garr Reynold's Presentation Zen. His latest post is:

Six Simple Ways to Improve as a Communicator

Leaders Must Communicate VERY WELL...
if they want to be effective and fruitful in their leadership!

I don't know if this is the most important leadership task, but it is sure deserves consideration in your Top Three Must Do Very Well Skills.

  • If you have great ideas, but can't communicate them - your ideas won't be useful.
  • If you are a great strategist, but can't communicate your strategy to others - they won't get it.
  • If you are comfortable with change and know how to lead change, but can't communicate why and how change must happen - then it won't.
  • If you have profound developmental insights for how learning and transformation occurs - but can't effectively share and transfer those insights - ditto.

You get the picture.

C.S. Lewis as a Public Speaker

C.S. Lewis, public speakingMany of us have read the extremely popular book by C.S. Lewis - Mere Christianity. What you may not know is the book was originally several series of talks Lewis gave on the B.B.C. network.

James Welch was the BBC director of religion. Welch was looking for a speaker who could communicate powerfully, clearly and in a contemporary way, the deep truths of the Christian faith. Welch was looking for a speaker who had the following characteristics.

1.  A voice that exuded warmth.

2.  Common sense that spoke to the masses

The Art of Communication

Here is a really good article and video on public speaking. It has 8 things a good communicator MUST NOT DO. Then there are 4 things that good communicators MUST DO.

It is from one of my favorite bloggers - Presentation Zen.

Enjoy and incorporate in the next time you speak.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International

Five Mistakes at Work

Hey, I am back from vacation and SLAMMED with stuff to do. It may be a little hard for posts, so I may be putting up links to some worthwhile articles and posts this week instead of writing my own posts.

Here is a good one.

You're Probably Making These Five Mistakes at Work.

Brian K. Rice
Leadership ConneXtions International


The Preacher as Bard

The God-Hungry ImaginationHere is a great paragraph that inspired me from The God Hungry Imagination by Sarah Arthur.

As Christian preachers and teachers . . . we must always remember that we're not meant to be journalists, merely relaying the facts; we're meant to be bards, speech-weavers, spinning a spell that captures the imagination. Yes, the gospel is the "good news" . . . but it is just as importantly the "good spell," a Word that has the power to capture and transform the human imagination.

Whether it is C.S. Lewis (the quintessential imaginative weaver of stories)
or Walter Bruggemann (the towering preacher, poet, prophet of the Old Testament)
or Garrison Keillor (narrator of the always delightful Lake Wobegon stories)
or Donald Miller (Blue Like Jazz - will you ever forget that book title?) 
or Jesus Himself who taught those wondrous parables and had a never-ending reservoir of metaphors . . .

Male-Female Communication Differences

I am always interested in this issue of gender issues. There can be some tendency to make inaccurate and inappropriate generalizations based on gender. On the other hand, there is certainy enough research that continues to suggest there are differences. And just about every leader I talk to, both women and men, always have anecdotes about problems in communication with the other gender.

If we realize two things:

(1)  That there will always be many exceptions to these "general statements"
(2)  And that personality difference is an important part of what creates these exceptions...

then such studies can be helpful. They give us some ball park mindsets to help us navigate the difference.

Photo Jolts! Image Based Activities (Brief Review)

Here is a Shout Out or maybe a "Look Out" for 
Photo Jolts: Image Based Activities That Increase Clarity, Creativity and Conversation. I ordered this book right away after reading about it in a Zen Presentation blog. You definitely want to get the Kindle version of this one, due to the many links to outstanding images and videos. While I prefer reading most of my books in the paper version, using old-fashioned pen to do my thinking in the book, there are some books that are just designed to be super-charged in a digital version. This is one of them.


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