Access to the location is always a bit tricky and I tend to over explain when providing directions, causing even more confusion.
Recently, I’ve attempted to find the precise amount of information to share — exactly which details and in as few words as possible.
Funny thing though, the result is typically the same. No matter if I go into great detail, provide only the street address or share somewhere in the middle, I still end up coaching the person on how to find the entrance. It’s not their fault; it’s really hard to grasp without seeing it.
Still, I’m intrigued by how many of the tips on what to look for are missed in the explanations.
And, of course, the similarity of this situation to our relationship with Christ and to the Word of God definitely jumped out at me.
Important to truly listen and process
Do we always truly seek to fully understand by listening carefully, processing thoroughly and applying without shortcuts?
Or do we try to compute all the details quickly in our minds and determine we know generally what to do and where to go, all while tuning out the one giving the instructions?
In some cases, we may not be listening at all. And in other cases, we are so focused on the first few items shared that we miss what is said next. Because we all process information differently and respond to unexpected situations differently, it’s important for communication and comprehension to be clear on both sides of the conversation.
Focus on the conversation
One way to accomplish this is to have the conversation when all parties are fully focused and can absorb the information in the way that best fits them.
Trusting the details will be repeated also helps the one listening follow along calmly in whichever rhythm works best for him or her.
For instance, some people do best with hearing the full set of instructions while not writing any notes or interrupting to ask questions. Then they can go back and write down highlights and personal notes while clarifying various segments.
Others need full written instructions ahead of time so they can read over them carefully on their own. From there, they do best with a follow-up discussion and opportunity to ask questions.
Additionally, while all of us need multiple reminders and contact points, too many touches can actually become white noise and eventually be ignored.
It’s a delicate balance attempting to find the sweet spot of communication, but it’s one that will improve all of our lives, especially in our walk with the Lord, if we continue to work on it.