Ministry can’t happen without communication. Would you agree? Whether you pastor a church, teach in a preschool, or volunteer as on the Youth Ministry Team, communication is essential. Understanding how we communicate and how others do that too will help everyone work better together.
Maybe you’ve already noticed communication differences on your team. Here are four common communication styles:
The information seeker One team member I once worked with asked questions in a direct way. She was most often straightforward as she asked for the information she needs. At first, I was tempted to think she was questioning my decisions or doubting my ability, but I soon learned that she was simply seeking information. I came to appreciate the direct communication style she used to gain the knowledge she needed to do her job well.
The energetic encourager Another person with whom I have worked bubbled over with energy and enthusiasm. She raised the energy level in any room just by walking into it. She developed relationships with people easily. She confidently said what needed to be said but because of her relationship skills, few people ever questioned her motives. I appreciated her spirited communication style.
The careful communicator I have also worked with someone who cultivated a careful communication style. Most people considered her quiet, but when she did speak up, everyone listened intently to her thoughts. Conflict made her uncomfortable and she usually went along with whatever decisions the team made. Day by day she demonstrated her care for others and for the team’s ministry. I appreciated her considerate communication style.
The systematic achiever As I worked with a fourth team member, I knew I needed to be thoroughly prepared. I knew it would be helpful to bring along as much information as possible. I also knew our conversation would stay on task until the job was done. I could count on him to ask specific clarifying questions until he was sure he understood our goals. I always felt confident in our work together, knowing we would accomplish what we set out to do. I appreciated his systematic approach to communication.
As we serve Jesus by serving his people, our communication with one another matters. Here are three keys to more positive relationships on ministry teams.
- As leaders, we need to recognize and celebrate the value in differing communication styles. Team members who are direct really get the job done. Spirited communicators energize a group and get people engaged. Considerate communicators listen readily and help the team in many ways. Systematic achievers help everyone organize team dialog to create a meaningful flow.
- As leaders, we remember that we may need to adapt our communication style as we take into account the communication style of the person with whom we are speaking.
- As leaders, we look for ways to build relationships by understanding and appreciating similarities and differences in the communication styles of others.
Blessings to you as you communicate with style!
Editor’s note: The communication styles described in this blog are based on observations and descriptions developed by Eileen Russo from HRDQ. Also check out the free tools CTA makes available to recruit, recognize, and celebrate volunteers.