Issues and Answers

Communication Skills Pt. 3

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Shelley Quinn (Host), Duane Anderson, Nancy Anderson


Series Code: IAA

Program Code: IAA000373

00:01 ¤ ¤
00:28 Hello, I'm Shelley Quinn. Welcome again to
00:32 Issues and Answers. I think you're going to be glad
00:34 you tuned in today. We are talking about the importance and
00:38 significance of communication skills. This set we have a
00:42 couple returning. We've been discussing this for a couple of
00:46 programs here. But I wanted to read something to you from Luke
00:50 chapter 4 and I think that you'll see as Christians how
00:53 important this is for us. This is Jesus speaking and he said:
00:58 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to
01:03 preach the good news, the gospel to the poor, he has sent me to
01:09 announce release to the captives and recovery of sight to the
01:13 blind, to send forth delivered those who are oppressed, to
01:18 proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. You know sometimes
01:22 people are oppressed around us. Many times people's hearts are
01:27 breaking and we don't know. I remember once hearing treat
01:31 everyone as if their heart is breaking because it probably is.
01:35 But if we will learn how to employ good communication skills
01:39 we can reach people at their need. Let me introduce our
01:44 special guests today. We have returning Duane and Nancy
01:48 Andersen from Mesa, Arizona. Thanks for coming back again.
01:52 Thank you. Now Nancy tell me about your
01:55 ministry CARE. Care stands for Care and
01:58 Renewal Education and for quite a few years we have been
02:01 providing seminars for friends, family, church members, anyone
02:06 that's interested in various topics: Grief and loss, marriage
02:11 enrichment and communication skills, things like that. And
02:16 the communication skills seems to be a pretty basic need and
02:21 well received and a lot of people like to have that ability
02:25 to feel comfortable when they're talking to strangers or talking
02:29 to family members and it's very compatible with the grief and
02:34 loss work that we have done as well. Because a lot of times
02:39 when you're talking to someone who is grieving and as you said
02:43 you heart is breaking inside, it will spill out. It will spill
02:47 out in emotions or it will spill out in little conversation and
02:51 if you are comfortable and secure in your communication
02:55 skills you can invite them to share more of what's on their
03:00 heart which can be very healing and very therapeutic.
03:04 Now Duane you received your masters in counseling and
03:08 guidance. You were a pastor and educator. Right. Counselor.
03:12 When I opened with that scripture, I know you love that
03:16 scripture, how do you feel that the significance of
03:21 communication skills that we can really help release the captive?
03:25 Why do you feel that that scripture is so important?
03:29 Yes, it was interesting in my own experience I'm going to
03:33 share that you know when I really became a born-again
03:38 Christian at age 22, I experienced a real close walk
03:42 with the Lord but didn't realize that that didn't just
03:46 solve all my problems. There were a lot of hurtful
03:50 experiences I'd gone through in the past which were weighing me
03:55 down. I mean, I needed to be released. I was a captive to my
03:59 own hurts and pain of the past and I didn't even realize,
04:04 didn't know, at the time that this could be taken care of
04:09 quite easily simply by finding somebody to go and talk to, to
04:13 go over these issues and get them resolved, have the Lord
04:16 give me the healing that I needed. So I just kept pushing
04:21 on until I was at midlife and just ran out of energy and it
04:26 was only then that I was able to go to a counselor and get the
04:30 help because I really felt the need.
04:32 You said you ran out of energy. You were pastoring. Was this
04:36 kind of really a burnout?
04:38 Oh yes. I mean I was exhausted and a lot of times people might
04:43 not realize it but when they say they've burned out it's because
04:48 there's things that are taking the energy that finally by mid
04:53 life I just didn't have any left and I thought I was all over.
04:57 I thought how can I ever go back to work? I just don't have the
05:01 energy to work. You lose all kind of desire, no interest in
05:05 work anymore. All right so in James 5:16 when
05:09 he says confess your faults one to another and pray for one
05:14 another that you may be healed. How do you feel that this
05:19 relates to what we're discussing today?
05:22 I had some situations happen in my life that ended up being a
05:27 fault in me, you know. Some type of a thing that weighed me down
05:31 that kept me back from my true potential and it affected
05:34 everything. It affected my marriage, it affected my career,
05:38 it affected my relationship with my children and if I had have
05:41 got these things taken care of sooner, I mean the Lord wants to
05:46 give us the healing, but so often, especially males, it's
05:48 private, it holds us
05:49 back. I wanted to be the tough guy, to be able to handle all of
05:54 this and I'm just going to push it through.
05:56 You wanted to be the pastor that's giving all the good
05:58 counseling and not admit that you've got any problems.
06:01 Yes. And of course the counseling was not as effective
06:04 as it could have been because I wasn't going to a deeper level.
06:09 OK. So people were not getting the relief that they needed
06:12 because I needed to get the relief in order to help somebody
06:15 else to get the relief.
06:18 Had you not had any problems, what you needed to learn was
06:24 Let me say this in a different way. You did have problems
06:30 you learned how to release them and
06:33 how to communicate which made it more effective for you, but
06:37 even if someone did not have those problems, if they haven't
06:39 learned these communication skills they still may not be
06:42 giving good counsel because they put a band aid on it rather
06:46 than lancing the wound and letting it out.
06:49 Exactly. I mean we all go through experiences in life that
06:53 are painful, that are hurtful. We live in this world how can
06:56 you avoid it? If we don't have somebody who can really tune in
06:59 to us, who can really understand us, who can really walk through
07:03 that as we mentioned in the scriptures, rejoice with those
07:07 who rejoice and weep with those who weep. That's the only way
07:11 that I know of that you can effectively do this. I mean,
07:16 true you can be there for the person and not even say anything
07:19 and that's a big help and sometimes that's the best thing
07:21 to do. So for example, let me give you
07:23 an example then: When there's a death in the family that's
07:27 when many people feel that you don't know what to say. Right
07:31 exactly. How do you deal with someone. Sometimes it is best
07:35 just to be there and not ask a bunch of questions that are
07:38 stupid. But let's say that someone comes to you and they're
07:41 talking about a death in the family. How do you relate to
07:44 someone like that to get to a deeper level?
07:46 Actually I've felt most rewarded when working with people who
07:51 are going through grief and loss not that it's a selfish thing
07:55 to reward me, but to help them walk through, go through their
08:00 grief with them and they like to talk about different things.
08:04 They might not want to say anything for a while or, you know
08:07 you let them take the lead. They might want to talk about a
08:10 humorous thing that happened. Let's say it's a spouse you know
08:14 When my spouse did this it was always so funny and of course if
08:17 I knew them I would share a little bit too that this is what
08:20 I enjoyed and appreciated about them. They want to talk about
08:24 that person. By having the listening skills you don't worry
08:28 so much about what am I going to say because that used to be a
08:31 that worried me the most. What am I going to say to these
08:35 people. Like going into a hospital where a man just lost
08:38 both of his legs, one above the knee and one below the knee.
08:42 What are you going to say to him? You don't have to say
08:45 anything to start with. Just listen to him. What's he going
08:48 through? Be there for him and walk through it with him.
08:52 Give me an example, I mean, when you said walking into a hospital
08:56 room where someone is a double amputee. How do you even start
09:01 the conversation to listen to them?
09:02 You know at that time I was really floored because I did not
09:07 know. I hadn't taken this course and I did not know what to do.
09:12 Now the man kept saying it's hard to get a good man down,
09:15 it's hard to get a good man down He kept saying this and I
09:18 thought well what is he talking about? Well inside of six months
09:23 or so he got his legs healed up, he got prosthetics and he was
09:27 back on the job. I don't know how long it was for sure, six
09:31 months, a year, whatever. But that was something that he
09:35 inside of his heart had made his mind up, a very determined man,
09:39 to not let anything like this get him down. And of course if
09:42 I had more of the listening skills I wouldn't have been so
09:45 helpless, you know. What do you do in a situation like this?
09:48 What do you say to man who just lost his legs? I mean.
09:51 So what would you say now with those listening skills?
09:54 Yeah, I would have said so you're saying that this is not
09:57 going to get you down. No it's not going to get me down, it's
10:00 not going to get me down. And you know sometimes, if I can
10:04 just tell a little experience here, going back to a child who
10:09 was four years old when his mother who had had an operation
10:13 back about four weeks earlier and died in the home and he was
10:17 with his mother while she was dead all that day before
10:20 somebody came and found them. Well of course with his mom not
10:23 being able to speak to him and him wondering what was going on
10:27 and everything, he felt very abandoned. At school he didn't
10:30 know that his grandma was ever going to come back and get him
10:34 when she dropped him off on Mondays, so he would just go
10:39 into shock. And he would just Nana, Nana, Nana and he would
10:44 be brought into my office just shaking. And what was I going to
10:48 do with him, you know. You give him a hug and he's just stiff as
10:52 a board and just shaking, Nana, Nana. So you tune in to
10:58 whatever the situation is. He's saying Nana and I said OK Nana.
11:02 So you miss your Nana, is that what you miss, your Nana?
11:05 And I mean I'm thinking fast too. You know, where do I go
11:09 from here. But then I thought here come over to the computer
11:13 and I typed in Nana and said is this how you spell Nana. Typed
11:17 in Nana. I says you must really love your Nana. Tune in to where
11:21 he's at and focus on that. And believe it or not, he started
11:25 quieting down a little bit at a time, a little bit at a time.
11:28 And I said hey let's print this name out, Nana. Let's see how
11:31 many different ways we can print this name. Different fonts and
11:35 and so forth and finally he was making Nana out of clay. We
11:39 brought some clay out and he was making... And he quieted down
11:43 and over time he stayed with me for the day because he needed to
11:46 but little bit by little bit he was able to get away from that
11:50 and he didn't have that shock and trauma anymore that he had
11:54 before. You know a four-year-old may not
11:55 be able to express himself but Nancy my experience has been
11:59 that quite often when you're talking with people they leave
12:04 out information don't they? So tell me if you're talking to
12:07 somebody, say that there's been a death in the family, and you
12:11 know they're leaving out information, how do you get them
12:13 going? Well I think it's very helpful
12:17 to in reviewing the skills that we've already talked about, you
12:23 can ask appropriate questions, but more open-ended questions.
12:27 When they'll say something, well tell me a little more about that
12:32 Tell me what was it like when they did such and such. Or you
12:38 can also use the paraphrase and the perception checks to check
12:45 to check on the content of what they are saying.
12:50 Paraphrase is when someone is speaking to you and basically
12:55 you don't want to parrot back word for word but that's when
12:58 you're saying, you know, let me see if I understand what
13:01 you're saying and you're giving the main content or the point,
13:05 kind of putting it in your own words to make sure you're on the
13:09 same page. Now what is the perception check?
13:11 The perception check is then once you're sure that you have
13:13 the content of what they're saying correct, you have the
13:15 facts and all that. Then you ask about the feelings.
13:18 The perception check is their feeling level. Perceiving, you
13:21 know, that must have made you feel really funny or you were
13:24 scared. I'm wondering if that's correct. Did you feel tense or
13:28 did that make you feel angry when that happened?
13:31 I'm wondering if that's maybe what was happening. It allows
13:37 them to go to the next little level of sharing the emotional
13:42 component of what was going on. When you're asking those
13:47 tentative statements you're using those little stem
13:49 questions. Am I right, or could it be that you're feeling this
13:54 way. You're not confronting them or accusing them or putting words
13:59 in their mouth, but they then feel free to say well actually
14:03 yeah I was really scared, I was panicked. I was really panicked
14:07 about that time.
14:09 Or maybe no, you're not right, what I'm feeling is anger, whatever.
14:13 So what you're saying then is that questions are a good part
14:18 of communication, is that correct?
14:20 Yeah, if they're creative in the sense that they're facilitating
14:23 to lead to a deeper level. You certainly don't want to get into
14:26 the interrogation type of thing. Right. Yeah, yeah, if you're
14:30 just hammering them with question after question after
14:31 question. No. I mean that's for the police to do and their job
14:36 over there. But when somebody's hurting and grieving just little
14:41 leading questions that will lead to a deeper level, facilitate,
14:45 them to go to a deeper level. OK. Certainly in a grief
14:49 situation I would want to know how they're feeling right now.
14:55 Very often what were you doing when you got the news. Were you
14:59 there by their bedside or was it a situation where they were at
15:04 home and they got a phone call? It takes them right back to that
15:09 time and you're there for them to walk them through it. There
15:12 might not have been anybody there when they got that call
15:17 and they've been in shock ever since and that gives you an
15:20 opportunity to have them share what their feelings were back
15:25 then and go through that because we were never created to go
15:29 through these kinds of things so it's very, very hurtful on our
15:33 systems but again that's where our text comes in where the Lord
15:37 comes and gives the healing that we need.
15:38 Have you worked with anyone who's been abused, say sexually
15:44 abused. A lot of times it seems that not only are they leaving
15:49 out information but there's a shame or a cover-up. How do you
15:53 reach someone like that?
15:55 Again, it's not the actions that actually took place because they
16:00 don't need to tell the counselor details of what took place but
16:06 how did they feel about it, like you say.
16:08 Now you said counselor. What if I'm just a friend. What if I
16:11 have a friend. Just a friend? Yeah. Yeah, if
16:14 it's female to female, like that kind of a situation and they
16:18 want to include some details of course.
16:20 But even say we don't want to take them back to that spot.
16:24 Let's just say that I have a friend who's really suffering
16:27 and maybe it's been something like that abuse. How can I reach
16:30 that person to get them to a deeper level? What kind of
16:34 questions should I ask?
16:35 Again, circumstances surrounding the situation, you know. Take
16:40 them back in their mind. OK you said this took place when you
16:46 were like nine years old and you were living where and this...
16:50 You felt violated. Not you must have. I guess that would be the
16:54 wrong way to do that.
16:56 Well it's a tentative thing. It's OK in the sense that you
16:58 don't want to say you know how they felt. You now a lot of
17:01 people will say I understand how you feel.
17:04 Even in grief and it's not the same.
17:07 Yeah, that's not really helpful to the person. As a matter of
17:10 fact they can feel kind of like no you don't know how I feel.
17:14 They'll come back with that. So we're trying to understand how
17:18 they feel. You know Shelley I think that is
17:20 an excellent when you bring that up. If that happens to someone
17:24 you know I think to facilitate them, encouraging them and
17:31 supporting them, have they ever actually talked to a counselor
17:35 about that. There are people who are truly prepared to deal with
17:38 the tremendous emotional trauma that people have gone through
17:41 when they've been through abuse. Just your average counselor I
17:46 don't feel adequate to talk to someone who has... You know I'm
17:50 not a trained counselor in my background so that I wouldn't
17:55 feel comfortable in talking to the depth or to the degree that
17:59 they may need. They may need professional counseling to help
18:03 them... You know that's excellent. I'm
18:06 so glad you said that because we've been talking about
18:09 increasing our communication skills. We've talked about
18:13 things like learning to be an active listener where you are
18:18 taking someone and once they've stated their case and made their
18:24 comments you're saying now let me see if I understand you
18:26 correctly or I think I heard you say such and such and you are
18:30 basically paraphrasing the main points to make sure that you are
18:34 really connecting with one another. You want to pay
18:38 attention to the, what'd you call that, a perspective check?
18:42 Perception check. Perception check and you're
18:45 looking at body language and things. You want to ask
18:48 questions but you don't want to seem prying. You also have
18:52 to be careful. You know some people are naturally abrupt.
18:56 They just kind of have a way of answering. You may be one of
19:01 those. So if you start delving into a situation though where
19:06 you're getting into some serious emotional issues we aren't
19:10 always the one. We might uncover and open up Pandora's box and
19:13 not know what to do with it. Right, exactly. So at that point
19:17 it's time to go see your pastor or see a counselor, somebody
19:21 trained in counseling. For sure.
19:22 The other thing too is if you're dealing... a lot of times when
19:25 you're dealing with individuals who have tremendous anger issues
19:29 and are explosive, they may also have mental health issues.
19:34 Your communication skills may not be as effective with them
19:42 because their reality isn't based on your reality and they
19:50 have additional deeper, more significant needs.
19:53 The communications skills can help you cope with those
19:56 situations but you may not be as therapeutic as you would be
20:00 in normal conversations or in caring for people that have more
20:06 of a normal range of experiences in grief or in joy or whatever.
20:11 So you know you don't ever ant to get in over your head...
20:17 Don't ever hesitate to encourage them to seek professional
20:22 counseling, you know, when you see that their needs are...
20:26 When we talking about setting the captives free we're not
20:30 trying to make people professionals here but we're
20:32 talking about just learning how to communicate with one another
20:36 on a deeper level because everybody has a story.
20:39 Exactly, exactly they do.
20:41 And everybody wants to tell their story but so few of us
20:47 listen. Exactly. If you are meeting say someone at church
20:52 someone new coming to church, how's the best way to connect
20:57 with somebody that you're just meeting?
21:00 For the first time, you just met them?
21:02 To make them feel welcome.
21:04 Well I mean I always like to make sure I get their name,
21:06 understand their name and see if there are any connections and
21:10 if they're from the area and how long they've been living there.
21:14 Kind of more of the superficial things, getting to know each
21:17 other at the top. I mean you don't swing down to some deep
21:21 level straight away. No. And make people think whoa, OK.
21:25 Right exactly. So you do that chit chat, I mean that's normal.
21:29 You know if the Lord opens an opportunity and the person
21:33 really does want to... They came to church specifically to talk
21:36 to somebody about something. Well then, that's a different
21:39 situation. But yes, normally it's the chit chat things and
21:43 the as the friendship develops and deepens you have
21:45 opportunities to
21:46 listen and facilitate them to go to a deeper level, if they so
21:50 choose. Again, it's completely up to them. I mean, we don't
21:53 have an agenda, well we're going to get these people to go to a
21:57 deeper level. No, no. If these people though would like to talk
22:02 more about something and we just keep giving permission and they
22:06 do keep going to a deeper level that's just totally up to them
22:10 and that's rewarding for them because they need it.
22:14 You know, my husband has exceptional people skills and
22:18 he always takes time, and I tell him it really takes a lot of
22:25 time to be nice. I would say I have decent to good people
22:31 skills and I am very involved in people's lives and I like to
22:36 listen, but I'm a mission person I'm mission driven and it's
22:41 like you know I've got the agenda for the day and it's
22:45 this jam packed so I don't always take the time to listen
22:49 whereas he will no matter how busy he is. So it's something
22:55 that learning to communicate well and set those captives free
23:00 there's a little discernment that you have to develop when
23:04 you see people you work with. If you notice something that's
23:08 just really different about somebody, that's when you have
23:12 to press the pause button and go to them and see what's going on.
23:18 Many of our viewers have probably seen this where
23:27 something's going on at work and you know someone's different
23:32 how would you open up or get that person to open up to you?
23:36 If you're on a break or something like that because
23:39 sometimes if you ask some questions that would give them
23:42 permission to open up, they may not have the time right there
23:47 to share anything. But I find if they're looking... you pick up
23:51 on the body language as we talked about. You know, let's
23:54 say they're looking kind of stressed or kind of tense or
23:57 something like that. Instead of saying oh you're looking tense
24:02 just say I noticed you seemed to be walking quickly today and
24:06 I was wondering, is there anything that is going on that
24:11 you want to talk about. I mean if I know this person already
24:15 anyway. If they say Naa. Or they might say well yeah, I'm going
24:19 through a tough time with my spouse but I just can't get into
24:23 it right now. Well, you know, if you would like to some time, let
24:27 me know because you know I'll be there for you if you'd like
24:30 to talk about it. I mean in that sense we're not putting it off
24:34 because we're at work. But you know if it somebody that sure
24:37 you meet them on a weekend or something like that and you
24:40 recognized at work that there was some kind of a situation
24:42 like that, you can even make an appointment to sit down and talk
24:45 about it. You know, we've been talking
24:47 about some wonderful communication skills. I'm going
24:50 throw you a loop here because you just tagged something when
24:54 you said, if you at work. What do you do with a person that
24:58 at work who always has an issue always wearing their feelings on
25:04 their sleeves. You see them coming and you know you can't
25:09 take... You can't afford to take this time, how do you make them
25:13 feel loved and accepted and at the same time think will I don't
25:17 have time to listen to a 20- minute diatribe. How can you
25:20 make that person feel loved and accepted?
25:23 You know thanks for sharing. I appreciate that and I've got to
25:28 head out right now but again if you pay them a complement, thank
25:33 them for sharing. They've shared a little bit, they may get the
25:38 sense that hey this person does care about me because most
25:41 people are just saying oh man that's too bad, sorry about that
25:46 whoof, bye. If we can at least give them a little crumb that we
25:49 care about them. We've busy, we can't take the time right then
25:54 to just stop and go into a big type of a thing. And also as
25:57 we've mentioned earlier if it's a situation where we feel they
26:01 could benefit from a counselor we might say we know of an
26:05 individual you know. They might take it as a criticism if we say
26:09 you know you need to go to a counselor. We know of an
26:12 individual who would really be helpful in listening to what
26:17 you're going through. I mean we're kind of busy here at work.
26:22 You know we can't always take the time but unless you want to
26:26 talk on the weekend.
26:27 That's good, that's good. So communicating all three of us
26:32 will agree, as we've discussed, that listening is the greatest
26:37 communication skill. But there is such a thing as active
26:40 listening and that's where questions are a good part of
26:44 active listening to get someone down to that deeper level and
26:48 perhaps release them from feeling trapped or feeling
26:54 just numb. And we use questions like I think, if I'm
27:00 understanding correctly, is this what you're saying? Did I
27:03 understand you to say this, kind of paraphrasing what they've
27:06 said, watching for the body language. We're going to have
27:09 to do a program on body language I think. Yes.
27:13 Anyway, I appreciate so much your ministry, I appreciate
27:17 y'all being here. Can't believe the time's already gone but it
27:20 is. So thank you so much for coming.
27:24 Thank you. For those of you at home, I hope
27:27 that this is stirring something in you even to say we all
27:31 need to learn how to communicate better. Sometimes we just get so
27:36 busy in our own little world we don't think about that a lot of
27:40 problems probably are our own fault because we're not taking
27:44 the time in a relationship to listen to someone else. So we
27:48 need to learn to be not selfish, not exercising in our own agenda
27:53 and listening, especially to the voice of the Lord.
27:57 Thank you.


Revised 2015-09-03