We have covered youth, parents, the church, but what about those we work with? How do we help convey our vision, get them on board, and equip them to share what is happening? So for the last week of our communication month, we are asking……
“What are effective ways you use to communicate with the staff?”
Kristin is a native of Danville, Kentucky and a graduate of the University of Kentucky, University of Louisville, and the Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. She resides in Louisville and joined the staff of First Baptist Church in July 2012. Kristin has spent many summers working for Passport, Inc. Kristin is also the Interim Office Manager for the Kentucky Baptist Fellowship and the Communications Assistant for the CBF Youth Ministry Network. Kristin loves spending time with her nephews, Jaxon and Parker.
Communication may seem like a lost art in an age of group texts and social media. However, learning how to best communicate with your staff is crucial. Some of these lessons we all learned as far back as kindergarten. Such as, always say please and thank you and listen twice as much as you talk. Other important lessons are:
- Ask clarifying questions when you do not understand something.
- Be honest. Healthy relationships are built on trust.
- Never assume anything. We all come from varied backgrounds and experiences.
- Follow up and follow through with assigned tasks.
Being on staff with both full and part-time employees, I find it most helpful to have in person weekly staff meetings. This allows those of us who are not in the office on a daily basis to get caught up on what’s going on. It also allows for more open and honest communication. Since a large portion of communication happens through nonverbal means, face-to-face conversations allow all parties to hear the words and interpret body language and tone of voice. Emails and text messages do not always capture the entirety of communication.
That being said, written communication is still vitally important. Group text messages allow relevant information to be sent immediately. Taking notes during staff meeting is a must. Writing down information also allows the staff to help plan for events and keep track of who is in charge of what. It is helpful to write down important dates and deadlines.
Speak with clarity; be prepared so you can be succinct. Think through details ahead of time so that you can clearly communicate them without confusion. You don’t want people to have to dig through what you’re saying to pull out the pertinent information. For example, if the ski trip is January 31st and you’re leaving at 7:00am – share the needed info. The whole staff probably doesn’t need to know how many youth are skiing versus tubing or how you decided which ski place to go to.
Personality types are significant. Knowing how you receive communication helps you know how to best communicate with others. It is also very helpful to understand those with whom you are working. Introverts and extroverts communicate differently. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is a good tool to use when determining your own personality type.
Lastly, but certainly not least, always express appreciation and gratitude. In ministry we tend to juggle many things at once. It’s important to remember that our colleagues on staff do as well. We are all working toward the same goal of sharing God’s love. We are all doing the best we can. The better we can be about communicating with one another the better we can work alongside one another and support each other.