“Can You Hear Me Now?”

A popular wireless provider used to air a commercial that featured a guy who uttered the catchphrase, “Can you hear me now?” to convince potential customers of the company’s reliability and reputation for fewer dropped calls. Personally speaking, nothing is more annoying than either not being able to make a call due to bad reception or dropping a call.

It’s difficult to believe that less than 20 years ago cellphones were just becoming popular and if we wanted to talk to someone, we either had to use a pay phone or wait until we arrived at our destination and use the home phone to make our calls (if no one else was already using it). Answering machines recorded missed calls for us and we retrieved our messages at our convenience. How times have changed…or have they?

GOOD Communication is vital to any relationship (whether the relationship is personal or business). I remember how much fun it was to play the “Telephone Game”, where someone would whisper a phrase in his neighbor’s ear and the neighbor would then whisper what he heard to the next person and each person would continue whispering to the person next to them until everyone had a chance to hear what had been said. It was funny to hear the last person repeat what he had heard and how different it was from what was originally said by the first participant. That game is a good lesson in listening skills. Parents and children often have difficulty communicating because they sometimes hear something different than what was said.

A parent might tell a child, “no, you can’t go”, when asking for permission to go out. What the child surmises the parent means is, “I don’t trust you to make good decisions while you’re out of my sight”. This difference of understanding is the reality of what many parents and teens experience each day – the inability to effectively communicate for understanding. Think about this, a man might tell a woman, “I think we’re moving too fast” and the woman may hear, “I want to date others and see what options I have available before I commit exclusively to you”. As I get older, I know that it is just as important to listen as it is to talk and I think that we often forget that listening IS communicating. I was raised in the era, where children were “seen and not heard”. Children didn’t have a voice nor an opinion. Thankfully parents are now allowing children to speak up and although parents may not agree with what their kids are saying, at least the children are able to make their voices heard. Being open and honest when communicating will be a good tool for the child to take into their own marriages and will be helpful when they have their own children. I encourage you to put on your listening ears the next time someone wants to talk to you.

Take action now: Meditate on Isaiah 65:24 – “And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear” (King James Version).

Embrace this truth: Listen for understanding rather than for an opportunity to give your opinion.

“Communications 101” is a topic that will be discussed in-depth by Rev. Patrice Morris on Saturday, March 29, 2014 at the “Daddy’s Girl Empowerment Summit”, a FREE conference for teen girls who are being raised without their fathers. It will be a day of inspiration, empowerment, fun and encouragement. Mothers are welcome and encouraged to attend. Breakfast and lunch included. Register today at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/daddys-girl-empowerment-summit-registration-10339821685

Location: Hope in Christ Community Church, 1019 N. Harris Ave., Compton ( 8:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.)

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