The way we communicate is a reflection of our character. How we communicate is not separate from who we are. As believers, we want our godly character to shine, not only at home or at fellowship but also at work. We live the Word in our workplaces just as we do in every area of our lives. As we do, we see success in our workplaces, we help others, and we are positive examples and witnesses for God.
In order to work together successfully and to be productive in our occupations, we need to be aware of the importance of our communication and the role it plays in the workplace. I learned this years ago while working in a fast-food restaurant. I was the shift lead, which meant I had the responsibility to keep the work on my shift moving. One day I asked my co-worker to prepare one of the menu items. She just looked at me, and I could see she was very upset.
She said she couldn’t take it any longer—I was being bossy and condescending. I was surprised, hurt, and angry. I could tell there was some tension growing between us, but I did not know the cause. I did not realize that I was being bossy or that I sounded condescending. I was not trying to do either. The problem was, I hadn’t given much thought to the way I was communicating. I didn’t think it mattered how we communicated. I was wrong.
As a believer, I knew the way I communicated God’s Word mattered; but for some reason I thought that in my job, the only thing that mattered was getting the job done. My co-worker and I worked out our differences, and she provided me with a lesson I have never forgotten. How we communicate with others is important to our success in the workplace, and for believers, the Word of God sets the standard. I realized I needed to express godly love and concern for my co-workers and my job. I also realized I needed to learn more about communicating with others. Since that time I have worked with and successfully coordinated a variety of people. And no one has called me bossy or condescending.
The way we communicate on the job reflects who we are as believers and is a factor in our success with people. We affect each other by the words we speak and by the way we speak to one another. Let’s consider seven practical keys to godly communication that we can apply specifically in the workplace.
1. Speak positively, encouraging positive outcomes for situations. When our confession lines up with what God promises us in His Word, we can influence others to believe positively as well. This can lead not only to a more positive environment at work but also to successful results.
2. Endeavor to speak and act in a way that encourages unity. Just as we endeavor to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace in the household of believers (Ephesians 4:3), we can strive to communicate in a manner that promotes like-mindedness among our co-workers. Some ways to do this include speaking kindly of others, avoiding gossip, and lovingly handling miscommunications, which can be very common in a busy workplace.
3. Take the time to think before speaking. This gives us time to consider how to be clear and precise and also to be watchful of our tone. For successful communication, we want to “ponder our path.”
Ponder the path of thy feet, and let all thy ways be established.
The heart of the righteous studieth to answer: but the mouth of the wicked poureth out evil things.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
4. Be honest and trustworthy in our communications at work. Whether or not this is common in the place we work, as children of God, we want to reflect His character. If we make a mistake, we admit it. We do not try to cover it up by lying.
Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another.
We show our trustworthiness by keeping confidentialities. Employers entrust us with confidential information so that we can carry out our job responsibilities, and we steward that information, using it for what it is intended and nothing further.
A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
5. Be courteous and kind, even when it appears that kindness is not deserved or reciprocated. This is an important key to godly communication. I Corinthians 13:4-7 expresses what this involves in its listing of the characteristics of the love of God, which believers have the spiritual ability to manifest when they renew their minds to God’s Word.
I Corinthians 13:4-7:
Charity [agapē, which is the love of God in the renewed mind in manifestation] suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up,
Doth not behave itself unseemly, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil;
Rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth;
Beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
Some practical ways we can demonstrate the love of God at work are to encourage and build up others in person, via notes, in our voice mails, and in e-mails….
This is an excerpt from the January/February 2018 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2018 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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