Conversational Leadership in Today’s World by John Chasteen

All leaders have to develop their communication skills to be effective leaders

Does it seem like this generation is becoming relationally dysfunctional, or is it just my thinking?  Not long ago in a private discussion with another professor at the university I was introduced to an alarming trend that seems to be affecting the younger generation. My finding was that sociologists are beginning to discover that the upcoming generation is severely lacking in what you and I would call common relational skills.

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Research reveals that it’s not that our youth are shy, reticent or unsociable. As a matter of fact, in given environments, they can be very social and relational. However, studies reveal that the area of ineptness is in establishing relational rapport with those outside their immediate circle of friends. As you could imagine, this gives them an extreme disadvantage in new settings such as jobs, unfamiliar social situation, and public service areas.

I’ll be the first to say I don’t have all the answers. Many of the issues at hand are exacerbated by cultural and philosophical issues. We could blame Facebook, Twitter, and the social media craze, and probably not be too far off base. However, these have become cultural norms that are here to stay.

So I would like to simply offer a few biblical-centered, communication, and relational skills that need to be addressed.  They are:

1. You must give attention to sharpening your conversational leadership skills.

The term “conversational leadership” is becoming a buzz word in today’s business world. It carries the idea that all leaders have to develop their communication skills to be effective leaders. Why? The primary reason is in order to connect in their relationships.

This is does not mean that all leaders must be eloquent of tongue, (ask Moses about this (See Ex. 4:10-12) but it does mean that all leaders must become masters of everyday conversation in order to relate to others. Jesus was a master at this, thus he could connect with almost anyone.

a. The first lesson in conversational leadership is learning the art of listening well.

Listening well is tough work in today’s information saturated age of technology. There are so many things vying for our attention that our physiological anatomy kicks in and automatically filters out much of the information we hear or have access to. Thank God for that, or we would be driven to insanity by the shear volume of information we deal with daily.

However with that said, I wonder how much we are missing on a daily basis that we really need to be privy to? So listening must become a discipline, it must become intentional if we are to improve in that area.

Conclusion

So my conversation with the professor sparked a whole new area of thought and concern. We actually have just scratched the surface in this blog, however, in order to honor your time and attention span, (LOL) we’ll  pick this thought up again next week.

Anyone up for a little homework? If so, try this…This week develop your own awareness concerning how many times you catch your mind drifting in normal, everyday conversation. You may be surprised.

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