We all could benefit from mastering the art of communication. Communication goes further than words; It is tone, gestures, expressions, spirit and much more. Solomon is a great example of someone who understood the power of communication and how it impacts individuals.
“Pleasant words are as a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and health to the bones” (Prov. 16:24).
1. Speak in Such a Way That Others Want to Listen to You: Simply think before you speak. Most people say whatever they are thinking with little knowledge of its validity or appropriateness. To catch people’s attention, you must speak in a way that will draw them to what you are saying. So, be mindful of what you say and be intentional about how you say it. Tone plays a big role in how you come across to someone.
2. Learn to Become Persuasive: Persuasion is often confused with manipulation. The distinction here is important. Manipulation is using any means possible to convince someone to do something, whereas persuasion is one’s ability to present one’s point of view in an intelligent and convincing manner aimed at achieving a common good. As Christians, we are to love God and love people, and in today’s times, persuasion may be an important role in effectively communicating that great commission. When it comes to persuading someone, timing is key. You must learn when are appropriate times to speak. This also gives you the chance to listen and hear their point of view before expressing yours.
“The heart of the wise teaches his mouth and adds learning to his lips” (Prov. 16:23).
3. Listen Before Speaking: As mentioned a few sentences earlier, timing is key. If you step in and interrupt someone before they have finished their thought, you give them the impression that you weren’t listening to them and just were waiting for your turn to speak. If you want people to listen to you, you must give them that same privilege.
“Be swift to hear, slow to speak, and slow to anger” (James 1:19b).
4. Be Slow to Speak and Guard your Words Carefully: Solomon discusses the importance of this in Proverbs 13:3 when he says, “He who guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips will have destruction.” People who speak quickly are often guilty of speaking foolishly. Words cannot be retracted after they are spoken so be mindful and intentional when you speak.
5. Never Tear Others Down-Rather, Build Them Up: By nature, we as humans find it easy to cut people down with words. It comes naturally to us to speak negatively no matter what the situation is. However, Solomon mentions how cutting people down with words is just as harmful as cutting someone with a sword! On the contrary, Solomon often relates kind words to healing throughout the book of Proverbs. So, when you hear gossip or negative words being said about a person, instead of chiming in, find positive things to say about them, and you will be surprised how the conversation quickly becomes positive.
6. Stop While You’re Ahead. It’s safe to say most of us have been guilty of this on a few occasions. When your conversation is going well, and you held your own as an impressive counterpart to the discussion, stop there. You don’t want to get overconfident and say too much. As the Bible says in Proverbs 17:28 “Even a fool, when he holds his peace, is counted wise; and he who shuts his lips is esteemed a man of understanding.”
7. Share Genuine Wisdom. Solomon has mentioned that there are times when we should say less, but there also comes a time when we should say more! To put it simply, when you have wisdom … share it! Be generous with the wisdom you possess and give it to others.
#8 Always Speak Truthfully. Let’s wrap it up with an incredibly important point: Don’t lie! Studies have shown the most job applicants lie or exaggerate about their capabilities. You never want to be in that situation where you lie and get backed into a corner with that lie. If it hasn’t happened yet it will soon enough. The Bible talks about lies as being foolish. Build your reputation on integrity, and you’ll be amazed at out how far it can take you!
“He who hides hatred has lying lips, and he who spreads slander is a fool” (Prov. 10:18).
“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding” (Prov. 3:13).
Steven K. Scott (Steve Scott) is the founder and CEO of Proverbs Power, an educational program where he reveals the 15 strategies from Proverbs that propelled him into success. You can discover his complete VIP Program here. Insights and strategies that helped him achieve $3 billion in sales with Total Gym & the other companies which he either founded or co-founded. Steve is a gifted Bible teacher, speaker and consultant. You can check out his blog on Success God’s Way and follow him on Instagram and Facebook. He is married to his soul mate, Shannon Scott, and they have seven children.