Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Leading Up - Healthy Posture and Tone

Leading Up: Finding Influence in the Church Beyond Role and Experience is officially releasing this week on December 1. I'll be sharing some of the concepts and tools from Leading Up each day, as well as some new material not found in the book.

Today's concept: healthy posture and tone.
Photo Credit: Chris Campbell, Creative Commons
If you have a piano, take a minute and pick out two keys, one black and one white adjacent to each other. Pound on those keys as loud and quickly as possible. You'll probably give yourself a headache from the painful sound emitting from the keyboard. Now, keep one finger placed on a key, then shift the other to the key exactly one octave higher. The sound will ring true in your ears.

Tone matters. If the medium is the message, then how we approach a fellow leader in our communication is just as important as the information we're sharing. A sarcastic, whiny, or passive-aggressive vocal tone is creating unnecessary relational withdrawals. Leaders of organizations don't need whiners; they need people who can communicate the truth in a humble-yet-confident manner. Communicate verbally with a tone of grace and clarity, finding a healthy balance between boldness and subtlety.

Healthy communication also includes physical presence. Slouching in staff meetings, walking brusquely by offices without greeting, or avoiding eye contact all send a negative message. Shift your emotional state by shifting your physical state. Being physically and mentally present with fellow leaders fosters trust and healthier communication.

Ask yourself: what messages am I sending through my tone and posture? Even if the content of your message is filled with grace and love, your tone and posture might be communicating something entirely different.

You can buy Leading Up at The Youth CartelSimply Youth Ministry, or Amazon.com

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