Keys to Effective Communication

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Communication Is the Leaders Responsibility

  • It is not just transmitting information – it is about making sure you are understood.
  • You need to take people on a journey with you.
  • The channel of communication is important.
  • You need to ask them what they have understood to make sure they have got it.
  • Timing is important.
  • Who says it is also important.


  • Voice is about the way something is communicated.
  • Lots of verses in Proverbs give guidance on how we communicate things.
  • Every church has a voice – it may or may not be thought-through and it may or may not be consistent.
  • The voice may be in tune or contrary to the vision.
  • Voice will always express your church culture.


  • Channels are the different forms of communication you might use.
  • We need to choose the right channel of communication to get the message across.
  • You can sort these channels into a grid with Impersonal to Personal on the x-axis and In-Depth to Brief on the y-axis.
  • Depending on you objective for the communication, choose a channel from the right quadrant.
  • Start with personal and in-depth and use it for people who you want to involve in the process. There will be a group of people who you need to involve, and it isn’t always the same group of people – you want to involve key leaders, people with ownership of specific areas and people with certain skills or knowledge that would be helpful.
  • The next quadrant is personal and brief (do this before impersonal and in-depth) which is about honouring people – they don’t need to input, but you should let them know what you are thinking and it validates them to do so.
  • After this is impersonal and in-depth where you are informing people who are affected by the decision of all the details of what you are doing and why. Give a good amount of detailed communication to this group.
  • Finally is impersonal and brief, which is advertising – you are getting the headline out wide. Most people don’t want details but you are giving people a way of getting them if they want to.


  • You can’t delegate voice.
  • Others can communicate for you but you need to train them in voice.
  • The more personal the channel, the less you can delegate it.
  • For an event driven by somebody else, they may own all of the communication for it (as long as you have communicated authority to them – and it should replicate the senior leader’s voice.


  • Not too early in the morning!
  • Think about how far out from the event you communicate it – it depends on how big an ask the event is.
  • When it is a long way out, don’t overkill. Strategically hit it at the right moments without talking about it too much.
  • Give enough for those who want to plan ahead and not too much to bore others.
  • A helpful tool is a communication calendar.
  • Also think about who needs to know in what order.