The Bible has much to offer in the way of communication skill exercises, particularly the book of Proverbs. In this article you will find some practical help on how to apply this divine wisdom from Proverbs to better your communication skills.
Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones (Proverbs 3:7-8)
Don’t Be Wise in Your Own Eyes
The first directive is “Don’t be wise in your own eyes.” What does being wise in your own eyes look like? This is someone who has already determined that they have the right or best solution to a problem. This person thinks highly of their own opinion and therefore does not really take time to listen to an opposing opinion. And if they do, they will often be arguing with the speaker in their head, preparing their rebuttal. This makes it nearly impossible to really hear the speaker and actually connect with them.
If there is someone in your life that you have communication problems with, a good communication skill exercise would be to simply practice listening to them. I say simply, listening is an active skill that requires self control, patience and love.
As you practice listening, you may find that you need to work on calming the dialogue in your head. Quieting your thoughts may be more difficult to do than listening. But if you practice this and become good at it, you will gain a major advantage in improving your relationships.
Communication Lessons from Proverbs
Pay attention and gain understanding. (Proverbs 4:1b) A great communication skill exercise is to pay attention to the communication skills of those you respect. Pay attention to what they do: how they speak, how they listen, what their body language is like, etc. Take time to intentionally practice with others what you observed.
Get wisdom…and she will watch over you…wisdom is supreme. (Proverbs 4:5-7) Don’t just observe people you respect, but be assertive…ask them to give you feedback on how you can improve your communication skills. Getting wisdom means being active in attaining it and then being intentional in applying it.
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. (Proverbs 4:24) Another excellent communication skill exercise is to monitor your own speech. Have you ever listened to what comes out of your mouth? Is it full of grace and useful for encouraging others? Would you want those you respect the most to overhear your private conversations? Learn to use your words to bring glory to God every time you speak.
With persuasive words she led him astray; she seduced him with her smooth talk. (Proverbs 7:21) How do you use your words? Frequently, our words are used to manipulate and control others. Human beings have a strong independent and selfish streak in them. Think of little children who begin at a very young age to use their words to get what they want from Mom and Dad. Adults may be a little more sophisticated but the motivation is the same. Manipulation however is very detrimental to healthy relationships. Pray about this and ask God to show you whether you use your words to manipulate others.
The man of integrity walks securely…(Proverbs 10:9) Integrity, what a beautiful character quality. When we act with integrity we will have a clear conscience. A clear conscience is a valuable commodity! It doesn’t mean that we are perfect, it just means that we are acting with honesty and with the best interest of others in mind. When we act and speak with integrity we can walk with confidence. Having integrity will eliminate many unnecessary worries and feelings of guilt.
Proverbs tells us there are many benefits to seeking wisdom including good health! If you want to learn to communicate better, keep searching through Proverbs for more great wisdom and communication skill exercises.