How To Handle Communications When Crisis Hits: Part Two

There are few guarantees in ministry today. Unfortunately, one of them is the inevitability of a potential crisis occurring in our country, your community or even your church that could have a major effect on your congregation and even your reputation.

A crisis is an event, precipitated by a specific incident, natural or man-made, that attracts critical media attention and lasts for a definite period of time. Recent church crises include a devastating hurricane in Houston, a gunman in Nashville, or a public moral failure of a national leader.

When your church finds itself in the midst of a crisis, the ripple effects can disrupt lives and operations for the foreseeable future if public opinion is not properly addressed and stewarded.

Skillfully managing the perception of the crisis can determine the difference between an organization’s life or death. In the pitched battle between perception and reality, perception always wins.

If this feels ominous and overwhelming to you, take heart. There is a solution – you can prepare for the inevitable crisis by a proactive and preventative method for preempting potential crises. Finding yourself in a crisis situation is bad; not being prepared when a crisis occurs is devastatingly worse.

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Crisis Management by Richard Luecke

All organizations are subject to crises. Leaders whose organizations encounter a crisis must act quickly, yet few leaders receive any formal training in this critical area.

In today’s volatile work environment, avoiding disaster is more important than ever. Crisis Management helps managers identify, manage, and prevent potential crises.

Full of tips and tools on how to prepare an emergency list and how to utilize pre-crisis resources, this book shows managers how to shepherd their teams from crisis to success.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION – Craft and communicate your response.

There is no one who can speak effectively for you and your organization than you. If your organization finds itself in a crisis situation – and even more so if you are the victim in a crisis – both your constituents and the public need to hear your voice.

Failure to make yourself heard in a crisis is a very risky move, almost as much as failure to communicate at all.

It is inevitable that there will be a time in the future when you find it essential to take your important and time-sensitive message to the public. In most cases that will involve communicating your message through both mainstream news media and social media platforms.

Those who reach out on behalf of your organization should be well briefed on not only what to say but what questions might arise and how those questions should be answered so that the entire organization is speaking with a single voice.

Communication through the media – newspapers, television, and radio – must be used to accurately frame the crisis in the public’s mind. Fail to deal with the media effectively, and your side of the story may never be heard.

Give intense attention to how you communicate with the public through the media. Your messages should be accurate and candid. They should also represent your point of view and include facts that support it. If you get your messages out early and often, there is a good chance that you will successfully frame the story in the public’s mind.

Give Them the Facts

One way to get across the story you want told is to (1) anticipate the questions that news reporters are likely to ask and (2) make a list of the five questions you would least liked to be asked and then be prepared to answer them. Be assured someone will ask those difficult questions. By anticipating media questions, you can form and articulate clear, complete responses that present your side of the story.

Use the Right Spokesperson

Who should be the spokesperson? In most cases it should be the identifiable leader, usually the CEO. When the crisis involves highly technical issues on which the CEO is not a credible authority, consider a team approach to speaking with the media. In this team approach, the CEO provides context and an overview of the situation. He or she will then ask a more technically knowledgeable subordinate to fill in the details – in nontechnical terms, you hope.

Segment Your Audience

Audience segmentation is the basis of an effective communication plan. First, segment your audience by interests. Once you have segmented your audience, you will have a better idea of the messages you need to develop and convey to each segment. You will need to develop different messages for different audiences. Just be sure those different messages are consistent and do not contradict one another.

Select the Most Appropriate Media

As a crisis communicator, you must match the media to the audience. Do this by first answering these questions:

  • With which audience segments should I communicate?

  • Which are the best media for reaching each segment?

  • What particular information will each segment value most?

Richard Luecke, Crisis Management

A NEXT STEP

If you have a Crisis Management Plan (see Solution #1 above), make sure the individual in charge is following the above suggestions when dealing with the media following a crisis.

If you do not have a Crisis Management Plan, designate a senior team member or board member to be the spokesperson in a crisis situation. Once this person is selected, convene your leadership team and board for a working session to work through the above points. This process will give the designated spokesperson the relevant information needed to convey to the media in any future crisis.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 92-2, released May 2018


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

Each issue SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Reach More People by Using this Tool that Everyone Has

59% of millennials who grew up in church have dropped out.

Why? That’s a huge can of worms. There are plenty of theories – some based on data and others based on mere opinion.

I believe at least one reason why we’ve failed to reach this younger generation of people has to do with the way we communicate about who we are and what we believe.

We generally tend to promote the church either through mass-marketing methods, like direct mail or print advertising, or we don’t promote the church at all and just assume people should know we exist and feel some moral obligation to find us on the weekend.

In the last decade, our culture has experienced a massive shift, thanks in part to technological advances. It’s not all bad. In fact, if we understand it, it’s actually quite good.

When the internet first went online, businesses and news organizations – and eventually a lot of churches – adopted it as a mass communication tool. But things changed with the creation of various social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Social media forced businesses and news organizations to focus more on personalization.

The church is starting to catch on and adopt social media platforms as a means of connecting with people and spreading a message of hope. We’re a bit behind, of course, but we’re starting to catch up.

As the church begins to utilize social technologies, the youngest generation may already be moving on from social networks to much more personal means’ of communicating, especially texting.

Text-messaging, as an outreach and communication tool, is HUGE!

I believe rather strongly that we should stop asking people to turn their cell phones OFF during worship services and instead, ask them to turn them ON and use them…

  • For accessing Bible apps
  • To interact with the service
  • To snap and share photos and videos
  • To check-in and share about their church

According to Text In Church,

  • 23 billion texts are sent each day
  • 90% of texts are read within 3 minutes
  • 45% of texts receive a reply

The question is, how can the church tap into text messaging as a means of reaching more people and making more disciples?

While we’re still learning in this arena, here are some thoughts and practices that may be worth implementing and experimenting with. Some of these, my church is already doing, and some of them, we’re just talking about.

1. Helping people plan their first visit.

Our church website utilizes a service from Church Hero called Plan Your Visit.

It allows people, from any page of our website, to click a button and let us know they’re coming. We then, in turn, send them a text with information about the service time they chose, and then we send them a reminder text.

Our First Impressions Director prepares one of our first-time guest gift bags especially for them with their name on it.

2. Allowing people to text-to-give.

We manage all of our online giving with Planning Center Online. There are tons of competitors on the market and each has their advantages, but Planning Center’s Online Giving app integrates seamlessly with our people tracking, volunteer scheduling, kids’ check-in apps, etc.

One of the features we use is the text-to-give feature. Donors can send a dollar amount to a five-digit phone number via text and they’ll be guided through the process of making sure it gets to us. Once they’ve given by text once, it’s set up forever and is simple and easy to do.

This is especially helpful for one-time short campaigns and special causes. If we’re supporting a local nonprofit one weekend, we can ask people to designate $5 or $10 or more for that particular ministry by simply sending a text.

3. Being interactive during the message.

Our church doesn’t have a physical office. Therefore we don’t need a landline phone system. We just use a free Google Voice number instead. During the service, we can ask people to take an immediate action by sending us a text message via our Google number.

During a message, this might include texting us with follow-up questions. When making announcements, it might mean that people can register for an event or sign up to volunteer via text message.

4. Communicating with subgroups and ministry teams.

We use Facebook groups excessively within our church. Every volunteer team and almost every small group has a Facebook group. The problem is, not everyone is on Facebook and not everyone who is on Facebook pays attention to it. This is especially true of a bunch of men in our church.

So we use group texts to communicate about special Bible studies, volunteer opportunities, and events as well as weather cancellations and other important notices.

For this purpose, we use Text In Church, created by my friend, Tyler Smith.

Text In Church lets us create groups and use keywords to manage those groups. People can opt in, and opt out, and manage their messages.

5. Creating text message sequences (automatically-sending messages).

When someone uses our Plan Your Visit button, we can add their number into Text In Church and send them a series of text messages designed to introduce them to our church. The same is true when someone visits for the first time – they can send a text to a number with a keyword and we can follow up automatically.

We can also create discipleship-oriented message sequences. If we do a 40-day spiritual growth campaign or a 6-week message series on a particular topic and want to include daily reminders to pray or daily devotional messages, we can create all of that within Text In Church.

Obviously, we need to respect the privacy of everyone and avoid spamming people with unwanted or uninvited messages. But when we have permission, text messaging can become one of the most personal and individual ways to follow up with people and reach more of our community.

> Read more from Brandon here.


 

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Brandon Cox

Brandon Cox has been a Pastor for fifteen years and is currently planting a church in northwest Arkansas, a Saddleback-sponsored church. He also serves as Editor of Pastors.com and Rick Warren's Pastors' Toolbox, and authors a top 100 blog for church leaders (brandonacox.com). He's also the author of Rewired: Using Technology to Share God's Love.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Better Communicator Series #1: Using Storytelling

Let’s face it – many times, our presentations even bore ourselves! Whether leading a meeting, presenting information to a committee, or worst of all, the weekly sermon, how often do you get the sinking feeling you audience is sinking right before your eyes – figuratively, if not literally?

Communication to individuals, to teams, and to large groups is one of the core foundations of the leader’s skill set. And yet, most leaders feel inadequate at times, feeling they are just not connecting.

On top of that, our media-saturated society has an attention span that is growing smaller and smaller, making it difficult to connect, much less persuade, our audience.

Intuitively, as a leader, you know that connecting in person can yield powerful outcomes. Many times it isn’t until you speak to people in person – with one or one hundred or one thousand – that you can establish a visceral connection that motivates them to adopt your idea.

Use Storytelling – connect you with your audience

THE QUICK SUMMARY

What’s your story? It’s a question human beings have been asking each other since we first gathered around a campfire. Millennia later, this human need for storytelling hasn’t changed. We communicate most effectively through our personal stories―and our professional success depends on it.

This groundbreaking guide shows you how to tap into the timeless power of storytelling to transform your business.

You’ll learn the proven three-step method Murray’s firm, Narativ, uses with its clients, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits. First, you excavate your personal memories and experiences to generate story ideas that suit your particular needs. Second, you craft and shape these elements into a classic story structure that really connects with audiences. Third, you present your story to your business audience using simple performance techniques that anyone can master. A fundamental element of this method is a focus on listening: the ability to hear yourself, as well as the feedback provided by a given audience―because it is your audience’s listening that shapes your telling.

Everyone needs to communicate well to succeed in business. And everyone has a story to tell. Powered by Storytelling shows you how to tell your story, connect with your audience, and achieve results.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

The human race traces its earliest forms of communication to an oral tradition – stories. Can you picture groups of people around a fire, communicating simple but important lessons to each other? Before writing developed, the passing of stories from one generation to the next was the only way to convey information.

Over time, the stories became much more than just information needed for life. We innately realized that information is static, but stories are dynamic. Stories can help your audience visualize what you do or what you believe.

As noted communication expert Nancy Duarte says,

Stories link one person’s heart to another. Values, beliefs, and norms become intertwined. When this happens, your idea can more readily manifest as reality in their minds.

Stories are the most powerful delivery tool for information – more powerful and enduring than any other art form. 

The effectiveness of your communication is commensurate with the depth of your connection. And nothing makes that connection better than the story you tell.

The seven basic principles of the Narativ storytelling method form the process of excavating, crafting, and presenting your story.

Humans are hardwired for story. We used stories to teach one another how to live. And where we shared these stories, community was formed.

Everyone has a story. Whether you think your story is not important or urgent enough, I can tell you without hesitation that something has happened in your life that would make a great story.

Everyone can learn to tell his or her story better. By performing your stories, your storytelling abilities will improve with time and practice.

Everyone’s story will evolve. A good story evolves naturally, reflecting the reciprocal, mutually influential relationship of listening and telling.

Storytelling is every person’s access to creativity. Storytelling is the most democratic form of creativity because every human being has access to it.

There is a reciprocal relationship between listening and telling. We often think that storytelling is mainly about presentation skills, but these skills are only one part of it. Listening is of equal if not greater importance.

Murray Nossel, Powered by Storytelling

A NEXT STEP

The author’s Narativ storytelling method creates stories in three phases:

  1. Excavating – Generating your own story ideas.
  2. Crafting – Shaping your story elements into a classic story structure.
  3. Presenting – Performing your story for an audience.

Write the three words above on a flip chart to serve as a guide for the remainder of this exercise – creating a story to use.

Keeping the seven principles of the Narativ storytelling method in mind, reflect on the following questions and comments for the three phases, and jot down words and phrases that come to mind.

Excavating

  • In which past event or series of events is your story located?
  • Think of, and express ideas, without any concern for their value, feasibility, or significance. Give free rein to your creative brain.

Crafting

  • Bring the power of critical thinking to bear, honing in on the ideas listed above.
  • Shape the ideas into the classic story structure of beginning, ending, and an emotional turning point in between.
  • Ask the question, “What happened?” to continue to shape your story and uncover new parts to it.

Presenting

  • Learn to tell your story without referring to notes or visuals.
  • Know your ending, giving you confidence in where your story is going.
  • Engage your whole being in the telling of the story.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 107-1, released December 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

>> Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

>> Purchase prior issues of SUMS Remix<<

Download PDF

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Great Conversations Take These Five Things

I’ve made it my practice for years to have significant conversations with just about everyone I meet. If you have an open mind and humility, you can learn from anyone. The more people I’ve talked to, the more I’ve learned.

It’s easy to have a superficial conversation with someone. Most of our conversations aren’t personal. How often has someone asked you, “How are you?” What’s the universal response? “Fine. How are you?”

What if you didn’t talk to make conversation, but instead you talked to make a difference?

I’ve used “S.P.E.A.K.” as an acronym to help me make my conversations go beneath the surface. You can use these questions with anyone you meet—no matter how much money, power, or popularity the other person has, this tool will help you go deeper and be more personal:

S – Story: “What is your story?”

This is an open-ended question that gets people started. Most people like to talk about their story because being known is a basic need we all have.

P – Passion: “What motivates you?”

Everyone is moved by something. A person’s passion is one of the things that makes that person unique. You make a significant connection when you take an interest in what others care about. When you get people to talk about what they love, you’ll be transformed by a different perspective.

E – Encouragement: “Do you know what you’d be good at?”

Once you know someone’s story and their passions, it’s natural to encourage them to do something they are good at—or to consider something they could do well. This is a faith-building opportunity. People thrive when they are encouraged and empowered. Most people don’t have enough faith to believe in the dream God has given them. You can encourage them to take that next step.

A – Assistance: “How can I help you?”

When you ask this kind of question, you are being like Jesus. He often asked, “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus served the people he encountered, and every conversation was according to God’s plan. You may be in a person’s life just so you can give them the help they need to fulfill God’s purpose for their life.

K – Knowledge: “What do you know that I need to know?”

This question is for your benefit. You can ask anyone this question because everyone knows something you don’t. With the right question, you can learn from anyone. You don’t have time to make all the mistakes! Wise people draw out learnings from the experiences of others.

There’s a bonus question that you should ask yourself: “Who do I know that should hear what I’ve learned?” This question passes along wisdom that others need to hear. Don’t hoard it for yourself; share what you learn with others.

Today we spend so much time buried in our mobile devices. Some of us have forgotten how to approach one another and have a meaningful conversation. Questions like these can help you engage with anyone you meet.

> Read more from Rick.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rick Warren

Rick Warren

Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller The Purpose Driven Life. His book, The Purpose Driven Church, was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Knocking on Your Own Digital Front Door

Several years ago, I wrote a book titled Opening the Front Door: Worship and Church Growth. It was a simple book, but rather controversial at the time. I made the case that weekend worship services had eclipsed Sunday School in attendance since 1971, and therefore, Sunday School was not the “front door” of the church in terms of outreach; rather, the large group weekend service was.

Further, I argued that this meant rethinking how to “open” that front door as effectively as possible to reach people, which could potentially involve rethinking dress codes, musical style and much more.

Today?

Tame.

Then?

Oh my.

Today, I am arguing that there is still a front door to the church, only that instead of it being physical it is digital. And it can be handled in a way that is just as alienating as when churches used to sing nothing but hymns, play organs, sit in pews and pray in King James English.

Fifteen seconds on your Facebook page, Instagram account, Twitter feed, or webpage – 15 seconds into listening to your message or watching your service online – and they may have already clicked off because of what they’ve seen, heard or experienced.

Actually, 15 seconds is generous.

According to the research of the National Center for Biotechnology Information, the average attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in the year 2000 to just 8.25 seconds in 2015. That’s approximately a 25% drop in a little more than decade. To put that into perspective, the average attention span of a goldfish is 9 seconds. No, I did not make that up. We’re .75 seconds less attentive than “Mr. Bubbles.”

But what are really operating are highly evolved “eight-second filters.” People today have learned to sort through information quickly because there’s so much of it to sort through.

Now, once you do get their attention, they’ll stay with you.

They can become intensely committed and focused.

But you only have eight seconds to break through.

That’s why one New York marketing consultant tells his advertising partners that “if they don’t communicate in five words and a big picture, they will not reach this generation.” All to say, today is the day of crafting a digital message to a post-Christian world that captures their attention – or at least doesn’t lose it – as instantaneously as possible.

That’s the barrier we need to break through.

The bottom line is that today, the typical first-time guest to your church is coming at the end of a long process. It may be their first time through the physical front door, but the actual front door of the church – the first one they entered – was digital.

So ask yourself some basic questions, and they are more significant than you might think:

Who is your website designed to serve? For most churches, it is designed for the members and active attenders of the church.

What about your Facebook page? Is it for the community of your church or for those who might be exploring your church?

What about your Instagram account? Twitter feed? It’s not that there can’t be posts for your church – of course there can be member-specific posts and should be – and it’s not that your website can’t serve up information needed and necessary for your church community. The real issue has to do with thinking about it as the front door.

Is your main splash page for the first-time guest?

Are the easiest, primary links designed to serve someone exploring you digitally?

Is your Facebook page winsome, compelling and inviting?

Is what you have on Instagram going to make someone want to go higher up and deeper in?

How well does it pass the eight-second filter?

Think everything through digitally the way we have been thinking through everything physically for the unchurched. We’ve always been about opening the front door. It’s just that now,

… that door is digital.

> Read more from James Emery White


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

James Emery White

James Emery White

James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. He is the founder of Serious Times and this blog was originally posted at his website www.churchandculture.org.

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COMMENTS

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

The Power of a Positive NO

It’s never fun to tell someone no, even when you know it’s best.

If you are like the vast majority of leaders in ministry, you love people. You want to help and empower others, but more often than we prefer, leadership requires unpopular answers.

In fact, a great deal of leadership is learning and practicing the art of saying no in a way that encourages, earns trust, and even inspires, rather than in a way that may alienate or discourage people.

Set aside (just for a moment) strategy, culture, and what has been discerned in prayer, even the simple practicality of a leader’s schedule reveals that you simply can’t say yes to everyone.

All churches receive weekly requests such as:

  • Can I start this new ministry?
  • Can I get personal financial assistance?
  • Will you promote my cause on stage?
  • Will you make this change in the worship service?
  • Would you endorse this political candidate?
  • Would you financially support this ministry I care about?
  • Will you bring in my favorite speaker or evangelist?

I have often responded in these conversations by saying, “If we said yes to all the requests we receive, we’d no longer be the church you love to be part of.

It is not only possible, but it’s also our responsibility to learn how to deliver the undesired response, and still leave the person encouraged and hopefully spiritually empowered.

5 practical suggestions on how to say no in a positive way:

1) It’s important to know why you want to say yes.

What motivates you to say yes, when you know the best response is no?

  • Do you want to avoid disappointing someone?
  • Are you out of time and this is how you move on?
  • Do they have a strong personality and you want to avoid the pain of conflict?

Perhaps this is a rare situation that needs an exception. It’s important to know when the request is open for consideration, and when it’s not up for negotiation.

If you don’t know where you stand, what you believe, and what would best reflect the church’s culture, you can’t lead. You are merely in an ongoing negotiation.

When you can’t lead, you will be led.That causes insecurity, and you attempt to feel better by saying yes. That never works well in the long run, especially if your yes is misaligned with the church as a whole.

If you remain aligned with a compelling purpose, healthy culture, clear strategy, and all under the Holy Spirit’s direction, saying no may still not be easy. Still, you can do it with confidence and a humble spirit.

2) You must believe your answer is in the best interest of the person and the organization.

You can’t make the right decision every time. No leader can.

But you must believe your answer is in the best interest of the person and the church. This requires thoughtful preparation and prayer.

To fight for what is in the best interest of the church and for each individual is often the greatest tension a leader must handle.

To alter the direction of the church to serve a particular group or even an individual is often short-sighted. And yet, if we are not willing to consider the individual, we are in danger of missing the heart of a shepherd.

That tension leaves us in a good place of dependence upon the Holy Spirit for wisdom to know the right answer and the strength to own it and deliver it well.

3) Never merely say no.

It’s important to listen, and it’s essential that you engage in a genuine conversation.

When you must say no, don’t power up or get defensive, and above all, don’t pull spiritual authority and hide behind, “God said.” Pray and get God’s mind, yes, but also own the decision for yourself.

This is not a battle for you to win; it’s a conversation. If you lead it that way, it will likely go well.

Seek to understand the person’s point of view, not convince them you are right. Then, if your position has not changed, be honest and direct. Explain why you think the way you do.

The answer no one wants to hear is “no,” but you have honored the person, communicated respect, and likely strengthened a relationship.

There is always the possibility of an alternate yes. What I mean by that is sometimes you may need to say no to a specific request, but there is another way to accomplish the same thing.

4) Don’t apologize for the need to say no.

If you say, “I’m sorry I have to say no,” that sends a confusing message.

It’s better to say something like: “I’m sorry this disappoints you, but it’s the right thing for now.”

Keep in mind your answer of “no” comes after a genuine and honoring conversation. And it’s never delivered bluntly. Make it clear, but not with a hammer.

The conversation is usually easier if there is an established relationship of trust, and you have a solid track record of leadership.

But even if the relationship is relatively new, trust can be established relatively quickly by taking time to connect, communicate appreciation for who they are, and understand the why behind their request.

Don’t mistake saying yes as automatically a good way to empower a leader. Sometimes saying yes can hurt a leader or the church.

The best decisions that must include no for an answer helps develop the leader and strengthen the church.

5) Say yes as often as you can.

Empowerment, not control, is the better choice whenever possible. Therefore, always say yes when you can.

For example, there have been many times when someone has approached me about wanting the church to start a ministry.

We obviously can’t take ownership of every ministry someone wants to start. But I can often say, “Yes, and you can start the ministry.” You can do it personally and start as soon as you would like.

(Generally, it’s not a ministry inside the church, but one outside in the community. Starting more and more ministries within the church is rarely a good idea.)

On that topic of “a lean ministry” I’ve written a post you can read here.

I might continue the conversation with something like, you are very capable, and if God has placed this idea or vision within you, you don’t need to hand it off to the church to do, you can go for it. And they often do!

You can offer to meet with them to brainstorm and to help get them started, but they own it, not the church.


It’s never easy to say no, but as leaders, it is often our responsibility to be courageous, direct, and deliver the answer no one wants to hear.

> Read more from Dan.


 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Dan Reiland

Dan Reiland

Dr. Dan Reiland serves as Executive Pastor at 12Stone Church in Lawrenceville, Georgia. He previously partnered with John Maxwell for 20 years, first as Executive Pastor at Skyline Wesleyan Church in San Diego, then as Vice President of Leadership and Church Development at INJOY. He and Dr. Maxwell still enjoy partnering on a number of church related projects together. Dan is best known as a leader with a pastor's heart, but is often described as one of the nations most innovative church thinkers. His passion is developing leaders for the local church so that the Great Commission is advanced.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Communicate With a Distracted Audience, Part Two: Approach Communication as Negotiation

Do you think people care about what you have to say? The truth is that the average person doesn’t know you. It’s not that you’re not likeable or smart; it’s just a matter of survival for people in today’s world. There is simply too much out there and not enough time to take it all in.

These words by communications expert Kem Meyer succinctly point out the dilemma for communicators today: for many people, the last thing they are looking for is unsolicited information, or someone to tell them to change their ways.

And yet many, if not most, of the sermons preached by pastors attempt to do just that.

However, many people will take the time to read or listen to something that reinforces an opinion they already have or speaks to a real need in their lives. If they are not looking for it, they won’t hear it. But, if you take the time to learn what they’re looking for, you can get in on a conversation already in progress in their minds.

How then, can a leader understand their audience in such a way to make their message more receptive? How can you connect, communicate, and influence your audience toward life-long transformation?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

A former international hostage negotiator for the FBI offers a new, field-tested approach to high-stakes negotiations—whether in the boardroom or at home.

After a stint policing the rough streets of Kansas City, Missouri, Chris Voss joined the FBI, where his career as a hostage negotiator brought him face-to-face with a range of criminals, including bank robbers and terrorists. Reaching the pinnacle of his profession, he became the FBI’s lead international kidnapping negotiator. Never Split the Difference takes you inside the world of high-stakes negotiations and into Voss’s head, revealing the skills that helped him and his colleagues succeed where it mattered most: saving lives. In this practical guide, he shares the nine effective principles—counterintuitive tactics and strategies—you too can use to become more persuasive in both your professional and personal life.

Life is a series of negotiations you should be prepared for: buying a car, negotiating a salary, buying a home, renegotiating rent, deliberating with your partner. Taking emotional intelligence and intuition to the next level, Never Split the Difference gives you the competitive edge in any discussion.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Mention the word “negotiation” in a conversation, and the likely mental image involves police in a hostage situation, or maybe a high-powered business deal.

While those would be technically correct, at it’s very basic, negotiation is a method by which people settle differences. It is a process by which compromise or agreement is reached while avoiding argument and dispute.

In any disagreement, individuals understandably aim to achieve the best possible outcome for their position (or perhaps an organization they represent). However, the principles of fairness, seeking mutual benefit and maintaining a relationship are the keys to a successful outcome.

As a leader who is communicating a message, you are negotiating. Your listeners may be neutral toward your topic, or even against it. Even if they are “for” it, you would like to bring them on board even more.

It’s important for leaders to understand how urgent, essential, and even beautiful negotiations can be. When we embrace negotiating’s transformative possibilities, we learn how to get what we want and how to move others to a better place.

Negotiation serves two distinct, vital life functions – information gathering and behavior influencing – and includes almost any interaction where each party wants something from the other side.

Negotiation is nothing more than communication with results. Getting what you want out of life is all about getting what you want from – and with – other people. Conflict between two parties is inevitable in all relationships. So it’s useful – crucial, even – to know how to engage in that conflict to get what you want without inflicting damage.

Great negotiators are able to question the assumptions that the rest of the involved players accept on faith or in arrogance, and thus remain more emotionally open to all possibilities, and more intellectually agile to a fluid situation.

Learning the art of negotiation will help you get over the fear of conflict and encourage you to navigate it with empathy. If you are going to be great at anything – a great negotiator, a great manager, a great husband, a great wife – you’re going to have to do that.

You’re going to have to embrace regular, thoughtful conflict as the basis of effective negotiation – and of life. Your adversary is the situation and that the person you appear to be in conflict with is actually your partner.

More than a little research has shown that genuine, honest conflict between people over their goals actually helps energize the problem-solving process in a collaborative way. Skilled negotiators have a talent for using conflict to keep the negotiation going without stumbling into a personal battle.

Chris Voss, Never Split the Difference

A NEXT STEP

According to author Chris Voss, “negotiation is primarily a language of conversations and rapport: a way of quickly establishing relationships and getting people to talk and think together.”

Here are a few key lessons from Voss as you begin the journey of learning to be a negotiator.

  • A good negotiator prepares, going in, to be ready for possible surprises; a great negotiator aims to use her skills to reveal the surprises she is certain to find.
  • Don’t commit to assumptions; instead, use them as hypotheses and use the negotiation to test them regularly.
  • People who view negotiation as a battle of arguments become overwhelmed by the voices in their head. Negotiation is not an act of battle; it’s a process of discovery. The goal is to uncover as much information as possible.
  • Put a smile on your face. When people are in a positive frame of mind, they think more quickly, and are more likely to collaborate and problem-solve (instead of fight and resist). Positivity creates mental agility in both you and your counterpart.

Every negotiation, every conversation, every moment of life, is a series of small conflicts that, managed well, can rise to creative beauty.

In preparation for your next communication opportunity of any kind, review the quotes from author Chris Voss above and the four key lessons. Using those key lessons, prepare ahead of time how you will approach the communication.

After the communication, review how it went, what the impact of using one or more of Voss’ key lessons had on the conversation, and what you would do differently next time.

If applicable, ask a trusted friend or colleague who was present during the communication if they noticed anything differently in how you conducted the conversation.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 104-2, released October 2018.


This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

Less (Words) Is More (Impact)

The bread aisle at the grocery store confounds me.

I just wanted to buy a loaf of bread to make a sandwich – I didn’t really want to wade through 7 long shelves of every imaginable type of bread possible.

My grocery store is just like your grocery store: when you stand in any aisle in any retail store in the U.S., you will be inundated with choices. Whether you are buying cereal, candy, TVs, or jeans, you’ll likely have huge number of items to choose from. Whether it’s a retail store or a Web site, if you ask people if they’d prefer to choose from a few alternatives or have lots of choices, most people will say they want lots of choices.

This is true in ChurchWorld, too.

Too Many Choices Paralyze the Thought Process

The book Art of Choosing by Sheena Iyengar details research on choice. In graduate school, Iyengar conducted what is now known as the “jam” study. She decided to test the theory that people who have too many choices will not choose at all. In a booth set up in a busy grocery store, Iyengar and her associates posed as store employees. They alternated the selection on the table: half the time there were 6 choices of fruit jam and half the time there were 24 jars of jam.

When there were 24 jars of jam, 60 percent of the people coming by would stop and taste. When there were only 6 jars of jam only 40 percent of the people would stop and taste. More choices were better – right?

Not exactly.

You might think that people would taste more jam when the table had 24 varieties – but they didn’t. People stopped at the table, but they only tasted a few varieties whether there were 6 or 24 choice available.

People can only remember 3 or 4 things at a time; likewise, they can decide from among only 3 or 4 things at a time.

The most interesting part of Iyengar’s study is that 31 percent of the people who stopped at the table with 6 jars actually made a purchase. But only 3 percent of the people who stopped at the table with 24 jars actually mad a purchase.

More people may have stopped by, but less people purchased.

The study may have proved that less is more, but why do people always want more choices?

Information is addictive.

Dopamine, a chemical created and released in our brains, is critical in all sorts of brain functions: thinking, moving, sleeping, mood, attention, motivation, seeking, and reward. Dopamine also causes you to want, desire, seek out, and search. Dopamine makes you curious about ideas and fuels your search for more information. A fascinating topic, but it will have to wait for later!

It’s only when people are confident in their decisions that they stop seeking more information.

Application for ChurchWorld Leaders

  • Resist the impulse to provide large number of choices
  • If you ask people how many options they want, the will almost always say “a lot” or “give me all the options.” If you ask, be prepared to deviate from what they ask for
  • If possible, limit the number of choices to 3 or 4. If you have to offer more options, try to do so in a progressive way. Have people choose first from 3 or 4 options, and then choose again from that subset.

inspired by and adapted from 100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know About People, by Susan Weinschenk

Read more from Bob.


Would you like to learn more about why less is more? Connect with an Auxano Navigator and start a conversation with our team.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Bob Adams

Bob Adams

Bob is an absolute fanatic about Guest Experiences, growing up watching his father serve customers at the gas station he built and operated for 44 years. Bob is continually connecting with corporate leaders in the customer experience world, learning and then translating practices for ChurchWorld. He writes, speaks, and consults on the topic frequently. Vocationally, Bob has a dual role at Auxano, a clarity first consulting firm serving the church. As Vision Room Curator and Digital Engagement Leader he researches, edits, writes and publishes online content. As Guest Experience Navigator, he leverages his passion, providing Guest Perspective Evaluations and Guest Experience Blueprints. Bob and his wife Anita have been married for 40 years. They have 4 children, 3 daughters-in-law, 1 son-in-law, and 5 grandchildren.

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Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

What Business Are You REALLY in?

What business are you in? The way you answer that question will determine who will engage with you in an increasingly digital world.

Most organizations answer this question with a mission statement. Too often, though, mission statements are long, confusing, and filled with insider terminology. Those types of mission statements are not helpful when it comes to the messaging on your website or social platforms. What do you do?

We’ve found that it’s helpful to have both a brand positioning statement and a tagline. These two, when they are developed intentionally, can work together to communicate your business on multiple levels.

What’s a brand positioning statement?


A brand positioning statement is a logical description of what you do. The best brand positioning statements are no more than 15-20 words in length, do not include insider terminology, and include some description of your uniqueness as an organization.

What is unique about your approach to your business? What sets you apart from your competitors or other organizations in your market? You may have heard this described before as your unique selling proposition.

Your brand positioning statement should tell people what you do in a way they can understand … while including some description of your unique approach or philosophy.

What’s a tagline?


A tagline is a short, memorable phrase that captures the key benefit you provide to your target audience. It does not describe what you do (that’s what the brand positioning statement is for), it describes the result of what you do in the lives of your audience members.

So, for example, Nike’s tagline is “Just Do It.” By itself, that doesn’t tell you what Nike does. If you had no other context for Nike as an organization, you wouldn’t know, logically, what they do. But you know that the desired result of what they do is empowering, equipping, and motivating people.

The tagline speaks much more to the emotive side of the brain—tapping into emotions, values, and results.

If you bring together Nike’s tagline with a logical brand positioning statement like “athletic equipment meticulously designed to help you reach your potential,” all of a sudden, their brand message becomes very clear.

So what business are you in? What is it you do … exactly? If you can answer that question from both a logical perspective (brand positioning statement) and an emotive perspective (tagline), you’ll communicate clearly to your audience and they will be able to more fully engage with you and your brand.

> Read more from Steve.


 

To learn more about these communications tools, connect with an Auxano Navigator. 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Steve Finkill

Steve Finkill

Steve Finkill is the Chief Messaging Officer at ID Digital, a verbal, visual, and marketing company. Dream Vacation: Driving the Pacific Coast Highway with my wife. Stopping for great food and some golf along the way. Ice Cream Flavor: Vanilla with real peanut butter mixed in. Favorite Films The Shawshank Redemption, The Empire Strikes Back, and Tombstone. Surprising Personal Fact: I was the Table Tennis Champion of my middle school. Favorite Album: The Firm Soundtrack, Dave Grusin. Coffee: Never. Beverages are meant to be cold.

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comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.

How to Communicate With a Distracted Audience, Part One: Leverage “Pre-suasion” to Gain Attention

Do you think people care about what you have to say? The truth is that the average person doesn’t know you. It’s not that you’re not likable or smart; it’s just a matter of survival for people in today’s world. There is simply too much out there and not enough time to take it all in.

These words by communications expert Kem Meyer succinctly point out the dilemma for communicators today: for many people, the last thing they are looking for is unsolicited information, or someone to tell them to change their ways.

And yet many, if not most, of the sermons preached by pastors attempt to do just that.

However, many people will take the time to read or listen to something that reinforces an opinion they already have or speaks to a real need in their lives. If they are not looking for it, they won’t hear it. But, if you take the time to learn what they’re looking for, you can get in on a conversation already in progress in their minds.

How then, can a leader understand their audience in such a way to make their message more receptive? How can you connect, communicate, and influence your audience toward life-long transformation?

THE QUICK SUMMARY – Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade by Robert Cialdini

The acclaimed New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller from Robert Cialdini – “the foremost expert on effective persuasion” (Harvard Business Review) – explains how it’s not necessarily the message itself that changes minds, but the key moment before you deliver that message.

What separates effective communicators from truly successful persuaders? With the same rigorous scientific research and accessibility that made his Influence an iconic bestseller, Robert Cialdini explains how to prepare people to be receptive to a message before they experience it. Optimal persuasion is achieved only through optimal pre-suasion. In other words, to change “minds” a pre-suader must also change “states of mind.”

Named a “Best Business Books of 2016” by the Financial Times, and “compelling” by The Wall Street Journal, Cialdini’s Pre-Suasion draws on his extensive experience as the most cited social psychologist of our time and explains the techniques a person should implement to become a master persuader. Altering a listener’s attitudes, beliefs, or experiences isn’t necessary, says Cialdini—all that’s required is for a communicator to redirect the audience’s focus of attention before a relevant action.

From studies on advertising imagery to treating opiate addiction, from the annual letters of Berkshire Hathaway to the annals of history, Cialdini outlines the specific techniques you can use on online marketing campaigns and even effective wartime propaganda. He illustrates how the artful diversion of attention leads to successful pre-suasion and gets your targeted audience primed and ready to say, “Yes.” His book is “an essential tool for anyone serious about science based business strategies…and is destined to be an instant classic.

A SIMPLE SOLUTION

Even the most well-planned communication opportunity often achieves lackluster results without the audience listening (and hopefully acting on your suggestions).

But what if the audience can be warmed up to your message before they even see it?

The best persuaders become the best through pre-suasion – the process of arranging for recipients to be receptive to a message before they encounter it.

Pre-suasion, a word coined by Robert Cialdini, is the process of gaining agreement with a message before it’s been sent. Although that may seem like some form of magic, it’s not. It’s established science.

That key moment is the one that allows a communicator to create a state of mind in recipients that is consistent with the forthcoming message. It’s the moment in which we can arrange for others to be attuned to our message before they encounter it. That step is crucial for maximizing desired change.

The answer involves an essential but poorly appreciated tenant of all communication: what we present first changes the way people experience what we present to them next.

The truly influential things we say and do first act to pre-suade our audiences, which then alters audience members’ associations with what we say or do next.

All told, there are any of a number of first steps besides establishing trust persuaders can take that will make audiences more redemptive to the case they intend to present.

The steps can take multiple forms, and, accordingly, they’ve been given multiple labels by behavioral scientists. They can be called frames or anchors or primes or mindsets or first impressions. I’m going to refer to them as openers – because they open up things for influence in two ways.

First, they simply initiate the process: they provide the starting points, the beginnings of persuasive appeals. But it is in their second function that they clear the way to persuasion, by removing existing barriers.

It’s because of the only-temporary receptiveness that pre-suasive actions often produce in others that I’ve introduced the concept of privileged moments.

The meaning of the word privileged is straightforward referring to special, elevated status. The word moment, though, is more complex, as it evokes a pair of meanings. One connotes a time-limited period: in this case, the window of opportunity following a pre-suasive opener, when a proposal’s power is greatest. The other connotation comes from physics and refers to a unique leveraging force that can bring about unprecedented movement. These yoke dimensions, temporal on the one hand and physical on the other, have the capacity to instigate extraordinary change in a yet third, psychological, dimension.

Robert Cialdini, Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade

A NEXT STEP

Author Robert Cialdini believes that altering a listener’s attitudes, beliefs, or experiences isn’t necessary. All that’s required is to alter the audience’s focus of attention just before requesting a relevant action.

The factor most likely to determine a person’s choice in a situation is often not the one that offers the most accurate or useful counsel; instead, it is the one that has been elevated in attention (and thereby in privilege) at the moment of decision.

“Privileged moments” are identifiable points in time when an individual is particularly receptive to a communicator’s message.

The artful channeling of attention leads to potent pre-suasion and positive outcomes.

In his earlier work, Influence, Cialdini argued that there are six concepts that empower the major principles of human social influence. Understanding and practicing these concepts will help you “pre-suade” your audience.

Reciprocation – People say yes to those they owe. Those “freebies” given away in stores? Studies show they can increase the likelihood of purchase by over 40%. Requesters who hope to commission the pre-suasive force of the rule for reciprocation have to do something that appears daring: they have to take a chance and give first. The “gift” should be meaningful, unexpected, and customized.

Liking – It may seem so common sense, but it is true: people say yes to those who they like. Two specific ways to create positive attention get the most attention: highlight similarities and provide compliments.

Social Proof – People think it is appropriate for them to believe, feel, or do something to the extent that others, especially comparable others, are believing, feeling, or doing it. Two components of that perceived appropriateness – validity and feasibility – can drive change.

Authority – When a legitimate expert on a topic speaks, people are usually persuaded. Sometimes, information becomes persuasive only because an authority is its source. This is especially true when the recipient is uncertain of what to do.

Scarcity – We want more of what we can have less of. Our aversion to losing something of value is a key factor. Scarcity also raises the judged value of that item.

Consistency – Communicators who can get listeners to take a pre-suasive step, even a small one, in the direction of a particular idea or entity will increase our willingness to take a much larger, congruent step when asked.

Review each of the above concepts, along with their brief description, and commit to applying one or more of these concepts over the next two months. Examples could include: social media posts, sermons, vision casting moments, or staff meetings. At the end of two months, review the use of each to determine how effective it was in helping your audiences take a next step in their walk with Christ.

Excerpt taken from SUMS Remix 104-1, released October 2018.


 

This is part of a weekly series posting excerpts from one of the most innovative content sources in the church world: SUMS Remix book excerpts for church leaders.

SUMS Remix takes a practical problem in the church and looks at it with three solutions; each solution is taken from a different book. Additionally, a practical action step is included with each solution.

As a church leader you get to scan relevant books based on practical tools and solutions to real ministry problems, not just by the cover of the book. Each post will have the edition number which shows the year and what number it is in the overall sequence. (SUMS Remix provides 26 issues per year, delivered every other week to your inbox). 

> > Subscribe to SUMS Remix <<

Download PDF

Tags: , , ,

| What is MyVisionRoom? > | Back to Communication >

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

VRcurator

VRcurator

Bob Adams is Auxano's Vision Room Curator. His background includes over 23 years as an associate/executive pastor as well as 8 years as the Lead Consultant for a church design build company. He joined Auxano in 2012.

See more articles by >

COMMENTS

What say you? Leave a comment!

Recent Comments
comment_post_ID); ?> I agree 100%, you can tell if a church is doing this it grows, if there's no growth there's poor leadership..
 
— Dennis Whiterock
 
comment_post_ID); ?> Great work Bubba! Its exciting to see how God has blessed your faithfulness over your lifetime into remarkable, fruitful, Kingdom expansion! Jesus DID say, "without Me you can do nothing!" (John 15:5). No surprise that He rewards "thick and thin" prayer with great fruitfulness! :)
 
— Mike Taylor
 
comment_post_ID); ?> I loved this presentation. It helped greatly as I organized an Outreach Ministry of The Shepherds Care. Thank you. Esther Callaham Mahgoube Emmanuel Pentecostal Church New Jersey
 
— Esther Mahgoube
 

Clarity Process

Three effective ways to start moving toward clarity right now.