Last week a group of our Elexio staff attended a satellite location of the 2014 Global Leadership Summit hosted by Bill Hybels’ Willow Creek Community Church. One of the primary focuses of several speakers throughout the event was communication. Although a foundational element in leadership training, it is often overlooked or quickly forgotten in church leadership. But these three speakers contributed some unique thoughts and perspectives on communication in church (or business) leadership.
1. Joseph Grenny—author, speaker, and leading social scientist for business performance discussed the Crucial Conversations of leadership from his best-selling book. He pointed out that “when the stakes are high, emotions run strong, and opinions differ, masters of crucial conversations create alignment and agreement.” And why does that matter? “Because this can foster a culture of open dialogue, mistakes are caught earlier, decisions are implemented more effectively, and innovation flows more routinely.”
2. Similarly, Patrick Lencioni addressed a lack of vulnerability in communication as one of the most dangerous mistakes in leadership. He explained that this is a fear-driven response originating from embarrassment, loss, or inferiority that leads us to guard our communication. But when we are transparent and vulnerable, we often strengthen our relationships rather than break them down. If we’re vulnerable and the relationship still dissolves, we must question how strong the relationship really was.
3. Wilfredo “Choco” De Jesus, pastor of the Chicago-based New Life Covenant Church, challenged the reason we communicate, poignantly demanding, “if you’re not going to do anything about the answer, then don’t ask.” Challenged in his own ministry to become fully reliant on the work of the Holy Spirit, he’s learned to embrace the response of people when he engages them—regardless of how absurd it may be. He provided several practical examples and proposed that with revelation comes responsibility. So when we approach communication, we must ask if it’s for the personal benefit of getting our point across or if we’re truly prepared to respond to the answer we receive. It may seem like a great challenge, but that’s when we need to exercise faith in our all-powerful God.
These are just a few of the powerful words spoken at the Global Leadership Summit. We pray that if you attended, the Lord has already begun to work in you and your church to help you apply these learned traits in your ministry leadership. Our team here at Elexio has been equally challenged to implement these ideas in our business. We look forward to putting the communication principles into practice as we seek to serve you into the future!
We’d like to hear—what did you learn at GLS?