Technologies change, but the basics of good, true, and beautiful communication remain the same. I explore what it means to communicate wisely and well on behalf of our audiences—to spaciously love our audiences as our neighbors.
Communication for Servant Leaders
I am exploring what it means to use communication to serve one another. How can we effectively listen, speak, write, blog, email—and all other forms of communication—with the best interests of others in our minds and hearts? So much communication is self-serving. So much of society’s public communication is unkind, even verbally and visually abusive. Here’s the basic idea I’m developing: the purpose of communication is to love (or serve) our audiences as our neighbors. It requires us to be servant-oriented communicators. I am finishing a book on this topic, anchoring much of my work in the insights of Robert K. Greenleaf, who established the field of “servant leadership.”
The Art of Great Teaching
Teaching is more art than science. It’s all about relationship, motivation, modeling, and demonstrating. It’s about loving students by serving them wisely and well. I spent nearly four decades learning by doing, and was very honored to receive the Presidential Award for Exemplary Teaching at Calvin College. Now I am sharing my experience with other educators at conferences and campus workshops, and through mentoring.
Virtuous Public Speaking
I’ve spoken to hundreds of civic groups, churches, professional conferences, trade associations and the like—audiences from a few to 15,000 people. One of my recent books is a practical, short introduction to the the standards of good public speaking—which I call “servant speaking” to acknowledge the importance of putting the audience first. My book titled An Essential Guide to Public Speaking: Serving Your Audience with Faith, Skill, and Virtue is used widely for university and professional training of those who do public speaking and lead meetings.
Interpersonal Communication in the Age of Social Media
I recently co-authored a book on how women and men can use communication to flourish in relationships with friends, coworkers, family, and the like. The key concept is “flourishing”—not just getting along or avoiding conflict (some conflict is good). One of the biggest challenges to such flourishing is wisely using technologies such as social media. The book is An Essential Guide to Interpersonal Communication: Building Great Relationships with Faith, Skill, and Virtue. Check it out. I would love to hear from you.