Posted 6:49 pm by Ellen

If you’ve spent time in the US recently, you’ve seen the TV ad that lists the price of several items and then a final one that is “priceless.”

Communication is an absolutely “priceless” ingredient in any type of global partnership. A recent poll of missionary field leaders asked what they considered the primary problem in leadership, and–you guessed it–ineffective communication among leaders was at the very top of the list. Whenever I ask churches or field personnel to name the primary characteristics of a good partner, yep, there it is again, “the ability to communicate well.”

Content, Consistency, Candor, and Connection

Let’s face it–communication, good communication, isn’t easy.

I think there are four essential elements for effective partnership communication–content, consistency, candor, and connection.

1. Content. Field personnel need to comprehend what their linking partners (churches, prayer partners, donors) need to hear about.  They must start where partners are, with some understanding of what they don’t know and what they need to learn in order to be engaged mentally and emotionally.  This takes discipline and hard work to frame the story from the listeners’ point of view.

2. Consistency. What does consistency look like? Asking people to pray for a specific event or need and then reporting within a few days what has resulted. Establishing a regular, frequent schedule of communiques and sticking to it, even when you don’t feel like it. Responding to questions within 24 hours, whenever possible.

3. Candor. Honestly is crucial. Share the difficult and the discouraging, in balance with the victories and encouragements. People will feel more connected to you if you let them into your soul.

4. Connection. To connect with your audience effectively, you need to write and/or shoot well and use the vehicles your partners use. Good written or visual communication is more perspiration than inspiration, the ability to discipline yourself to spend the time to make the message clear. In today’s world, we must learn to use social media, blogs, emails, Skype, videos, and whatever will be available tomorrow!

What are you learning about good partner communication?

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