The 7% Rule

Posted by Ian Matthews  ·  1 visitor comment

Youth Minister Joel Preston looks at the importance of verbal and face-to-face communication

In today's society, it seems there are a million and one ways to communicate. Facebook, Texting, MSN, Email, BBM, Skype etc are just some of the ways which we can hold conversations in our digital age. As with all tools, there are always 2 outcomes we can get as a result of using these facilities - positive and negative. As managers, communication is a vital weapon in our arsenal, and we need to be aware how to communicate effectively.
Apparently, words only form approx 7% of our communication, 38% is our tone and 55% is body language.

Therefore, when you write to someone, whether it be via a handwritten note, email or iMessage, you are only using 7% of your total communication skills.

One Friday evening I received a text from a volunteer who helped run the youth congregation in our youth ministry. In the text, she asked me to complete a task I had already deemed as unnecessary, which I explained in the message I sent back to her. 10 minutes later she replied, giving further reason as to why the task should be completed, but this time, I felt she was emotionally blackmailing me into doing as she said. I decided this needed challenging and replied to her message. We sent texts back and forth throughout the night on this subject... it didn't end well. It resulted in dividing us and leaving us annoyed at each other and we didn't even clear things up before our youth congregation the following Sunday.

On the Monday, I went through the text conversation with my line manager and asked his advice. It was simple...

"There is no substitute for a face-to-face conversation."

He was right. I went through the texts again myself and realised that the situation would never have escalated if I'd have simply picked up the phone and spoken to the volunteer personally. The words I wrote could have - and probably were - misinterpreted as overtly hostile. The same too for the words she wrote.

When you write to someone you lose a vast majority of communication.

Is there a sensitive conversation you need to have with someone? Something that is pastorally delicate? Despite it being harder, please have that conversation face-to-face. If not possible, at least pick up the phone. That way you are using 45% of your possible communication rather than just 7%

 

Joel Preston is a Youth Minister for St Michael's church in Stoke Gifford, North Bristol. He manages a team of interns and volunteers and has been involved in a variety of Christian Youth work settings for over 7 years. This article first appeared on Youth Ministry Management, where Joel is a regular contributor.

9th February

February 9th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Ian Matthews

Thumbs Down0
Thumbs Up0

Did you find this article useful?

1 Visitor Comment

Join in the Eden community and comment on this article

Ian Matthews

Ian Matthews

Posts: 8

great advice

Thursday, 15th March 2012 at 8:27AM

Reply to this comment

0Thumbs Down
0Thumbs Up

Did you find this comment useful?

Leave A Comment

Leave your comments or suggestions in regards to this article.

Most Popular Articles
Advent Reflection: 7th December - Davis Bunn
Posted on Wednesday 7th of December
Advent Reflection: 6th December - William Philip
Posted on Tuesday 6th of December
Advent Reflection: 5th December - Compassion
Posted on Monday 5th of December
Advent Reflection: 4th December - Amy Boucher Pye
Posted on Sunday 4th of December
Advent Reflection: 3rd December - Cathy Madavan
Posted on Saturday 3rd of December
Advent Reflection: 7th December - Davis Bunn
Posted on Wednesday 7th of December
Advent Reflection: 6th December - William Philip
Posted on Tuesday 6th of December
Advent Reflection: 5th December - Compassion
Posted on Monday 5th of December
Advent Reflection: 4th December - Amy Boucher Pye
Posted on Sunday 4th of December
Advent Reflection: 3rd December - Cathy Madavan
Posted on Saturday 3rd of December
What Are Eden Bundles?
Posted on Friday 11th of November
Creating an all age, fun, and messy church
Posted on Wednesday 28th of March

Updates from the live @Edencouk twitter feed!

Twitter Seperator
Don't forget to follow us @edencouk
Recent Article Comments
No Comments.

Nia Wright has made 0 posts.

34 useful comments

A Reader has made 0 posts.

16 useful comments

Les Ellison has made 54 posts.

10 useful comments

Ian Matthews has made 8 posts.

8 useful comments

Lyn Myers has made 5 posts.

8 useful comments

Last updated: 24 mins ago