Have you ever come away from a conversation or a meeting with a coworker wondering if the person really understood what you were trying to say? I know I have wondered at times if I effectively communicate with those with whom I work. How we communicate with others is important to our relationships in the workplace. As a believer, the Word of God is my standard for life—including effective communications. I have learned that I can put into action some simple Biblical keys to help me communicate more effectively. You may find them helpful also.
Since God is the Great Communicator, we can learn a lot from His Word about how to effectively communicate. Just look at the edifying qualities of His communication:
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
We can reflect these godly qualities of purity, peace, gentleness, mercy, and more in our communication in our workplaces. Here are some keys to help us reflect our Biblical standard and be more effective in our communication with others at our jobs:
Be courteous and kind. Kindness and courtesy in our speech can go a long way with our coworkers.
Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
And be ye kind one to another….
Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.
Be a good listener when coworkers have something to say.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath.
There have been times when coworkers have come to me when they just needed someone to listen regarding a job-related situation they were working through. My being a good listener helped them figure out what was needed in the situation without my even having to provide much input. Listening well to others lets them know their perspective is valued and respected, and their words and feelings are understood.
Take time to think before responding.
The heart of the righteous studieth [ponders] to answer….
Sometimes people don’t need an immediate response. Perhaps our instantaneous, initial response wouldn’t be helpful. Rather than quickly answering with the first thing that comes to mind, it’s far better to stop, take a deep breath, and just think before responding.
Express thankfulness and genuine appreciation for others and their contributions.
When we think about how much we appreciate someone, let’s not forget to say it. The Apostle Paul often expressed his thankfulness and appreciation in the letters (epistles) he wrote to various churches and individuals in the first century. Here’s one to the believers in Thessalonica:
I Thessalonians 1:2,3:
We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers;
Remembering without ceasing your work of faith [believing], and labour of love….
We can enhance our workplace relationships as we endeavor to communicate effectively by speaking kindly and courteously, taking time to listen to others, thinking before we respond, and expressing genuine appreciation. As we follow the example of God our Father, the Great Communicator, we can be effective and edifying communicators in our jobs.