Knowing how to speak the language of each people group will determine our effectiveness in communicating effectively the message we are trying to convey. Making sure people understand our message is more important than our dazzling them with how educated we are. People do not follow or grab onto vision if they do not understand it. I could use several leaders of the past to prove the point and to use as an example for this but one stands out as one of the best communicators of all time. He never changed his principles, but he mastered the art of packaging them in different forms based on the degree of understanding of those listening.
I am talking about Jesus who started out with twelve protégés and has two billion followers today. He was a master at effective communicating. Though he possessed a wisdom that could boggle the mind of the most educated, he artfully could speak to the uneducated in the simplest terms that they could easily understand the deeper truths and principles he was trying to convey. When speaking to the common people of his day, he would speak in farming terms. The majority of the common people were well acquainted with farming and soil. Jesus would speak in parables or illustrations neatly packaging his principles in everyday experiences of agriculture. After awhile, the common people followed him in droves because they understood his purpose and mission.
When Jesus would speak to the Pharisees and scribes who were the ruling religious leaders of the day, his language would change. He would craft the verbiage to that of temple building, religious language, and ruler-ship. However, when speaking to Pontius Pilate who was the Roman governor over Judea at that time, he spoke in a language consisting of government and kingdom verbiage.
Each of these people groups recognized the principles and message he was attempting to reveal. Knowing who you are talking to, their culture, level of understanding, becomes the difference on whether we are effective or not. In other words, it would have been a waste of time to speak to the common people in government language when they were not familiar with such terms. Jesus could have mesmerized the low educated with a lofty rhetoric, but they would have walked away saying how smart he was but they themselves would have not been effected.
Communication skills determine the quality of a marriage and all relationships for that matter. If I want to build a relationship with citizens of a nation, prospective buyers of a product, or develop a following to create momentum for a cause, I must relate my message on their level.
Human rights is a passion that burns inside of me, but how do I speak to all people concerning this subject?
Every person at their innermost being feels compassion for the person being hurt unjustly. Relating it to each echelon of society becomes the science. When speaking to the low to middle income class, you can speak on the suffering of people just like them who want to live life in peace and simply make a living for their families, but are being denied because of their human rights being violated. When the opportunity arises to speak to government leaders, I speak on the injustices and lack of equity which produces a destabilization for their society. I’m simply matching my verbiage to the level of understanding I am dealing with. This way I am creating the paradigm and involving all people in a movement instead of segregating or isolating certain people groups. Unifying all echelons of society can be done, it just means I must be a verbal artist of sorts. As an artist knows which colors to mix to create the desired effect, likewise we must know what terms to use to create a momentum in all persons for the cause.
This requires studying who you will be talking to. Its an effort that will pay big dividends later. Failure is not with those we are speaking to, it’s failing to properly package the vision on the level of understanding in those I am speaking to.
“Treat Others The Way You Want To Be Treated”