Innovative Ministry
5 Tips To Reduce Misunderstandings In An Information-Soaked Culture
No one is a perfect communicator. Even if our facts are correct, the way we say them matters.

4. Restate the same truth in various ways

Note above, before writing this list, I followed this principle.

Since it might be possible to read this list and assume that I was forgetting about fact-checking, I reminded every reader that these are “rules I use when communicating something I know to be true” and “all these tips only happen after having researched and confirmed the truth of what I’m passing along.”

And now I’ve told you a third time. Will some readers still miss that? Probably. But fewer of them will now because I went out of my way to reduce that misunderstanding.

When the topic has even the smallest possibility of being misunderstood, redundancy is your friend.

Is that redundant? Yes. So is this. Which is exactly the point. When a topic has even the smallest possibility of being misunderstood, redundancy is your friend.

Because of the massive amount of information we’re taking in now, people scan more than they read. Especially online. I do it. You do it.

I’ve had readers criticize me for leaving an important point out of an article, even though it’s actually dealt with in the article, word-for-word. They weren’t lying, they just missed it when they scanned it.

5. Take note of feedback to learn what your bad communication habits might be

We all have habits. Bad ones and good ones.

Communicators have them, too. Some of those habits help us communicate better – they give us our unique voice and make people want to read more of what we write.

But some of our habits are bad. If you regularly hear the same complaints about your writing or speaking style, even in hurtful ways (like, “you sound so angry!” or “quit repeating yourself” or “passive-aggressive much?”) don’t dismiss them. Learn from them.

Even those who don’t like you or your ideas can be unintentionally helping you by pointing out errors in clarity that you can fix. Yes, your enemies can make you a better communicator if you’re open to it.

We Can Always Get Better

No one is a perfect communicator.

Even if our facts are correct, the way we say them matters.

Especially as followers of Jesus it's essential to communicate accurately, kindly, clearly and helpfully.

Because the more important our message is, the more important it is to say it well.

Support our work. Subscribe to CT and get one year free.

August 29, 2019 at 2:00 AM

Join in the conversation about this post on Facebook.

Recent Posts

Read More from Karl

Follow Christianity Today

Free Newsletters

More Newsletters ...