Last year, my OC-US team in Seattle developed some important Guidelines for Communication that we adopted to improve our interactions as a team. We’ve posted them on the top of all our team agendas and we read through this list at the beginning of our team meetings. Here are 5 Benefits of creating communication guidelines and reviewing them frequently:
- We all are reminded to “own” responsibility for good, healthy communication.
- We are encouraged to work harder to seek to understand each other.
- We see the value of keeping short accounts with one another.
- Nobody should leave our gatherings feeling misunderstood.
- Everyone is invited to share their thoughts, feelings and perspective.
Guidelines for Conversations
This is a living list to be revisited occasionally.
- Everyone addresses issues as they arise.
- Clarify status of conversations especially when we have to end the conversation.
- Time is not boundary to understanding.
- End each conversation with a statement of current position or condition by everyone present.
- All stay actively engaged in team wide conversations.
- Overclarification is embraced by all.
- Work hard to understand the other person first.
- Actively listen
- Use “Help me understand”
- Summarize, paraphrase, “mirror back”
- Address offenses affecting team communication
- Point out offenses.
- Acknowledge the offense.
- Make apology.
- Ask for forgiveness.
- Accept apology.
- Grant forgiveness.
- Accept forgiveness.
What do you like about this list?
What would you add or take away?
How could developing Guidelines for Conversation benefit your church planting team?