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7 Common conversation mistakes

Good conversation is a spiritual activity. All kinds of church splits and covenantal breakups are the result of poor communication skills. As I lead a large group of people who themselves are leading others, I'm convicted afresh to take a look at the communication around me. Most of us can im…
By Seth Barnes

Good conversation is a spiritual activity. All kinds of church splits and covenantal breakups are the result of poor communication skills. As I lead a large group of people who themselves are leading others, I'm convicted afresh to take a look at the communication around me. Most of us can improve our skills.

Here are seven common mistakes in one-to-one conversations (prompted by the book Fierce Conversations🙂

1. Doing most of the talking
Instead, let the other person talk and really pay attention to them. I'm always impressed by people who have mastered the skill of listening.

2. Taking the problem away from someone
You don't have to be a fixer. Husbands do this for their wives all the time. The wife just wants to know that he understands how she feels. But he's more interested in solving her problem.

3. Not inquiring about feelings
Often the issue is not about what the person is saying. Ask how they feel about it and you get to the core of the issue.

4. Delivering unclear messages, coaching, instructions
Have you ever known someone who just talked in circles? Or someone who never could make a clear point? Most of us could do with some forethought before we speak.

5. Canceling the meeting
Few things communicate "you're not important" like a cancelled meeting.

6. Allowing interruptions
Again, the message is "this interruption is more important than you."

7. Assuming you've communicated
Just because you've talked doesn't mean you've communicated. Feedback from the other person tells you that. To further ensure common understanding, take notes and send the person an email summary.

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