August 16; What Did The Listener Hear and Walk Away With?
MANAGEMENT BY THE BOOK:
365 Daily Bible Verse &
One-Minute Management Lessons For The Busy Faithful

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Chapter Eight: Communication; 16 August

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters.

When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you

except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power…

1 Corinthians 2:1-4

What Did The Listener Hear and Walk Away With?

Simple Message

Your Business Professor in sunglasses in his Jeep

Your Business Professor in sunglasses
in his Jeep

Your Business Professor was immersed in Army literature. I was studying a repair manual for M151, 1/4 ton 4×4 Military Utility Tactical Truck (Or MUTT as the Pentagon would call this Ford product.) The troops in the field simply called it a “Jeep®” violating all manner of Chrysler copyright and trademark protection.

I noticed two points in my book learning. The manual was not entirely error-free—it had a mistake rate of something like 5%. 95% “perfection” was close enough for government work (100% Perfection would have cost too much.)

But most important: it was written on a fifth grade level. Another vehicle manual had more cartoons than words.

It was simple and effective. Simple communication is simple and humble and can be understood.

James E. Hall was President Clinton’s Chair of the National Transportation Safety Board. In a speech on Intelligent Transportation Systems, he said,

I don’t need to remind you that 80 percent to 90 percent of all transportation tragedies are the result of human error.

Aviation maintenance documents are written at a third-grade level – not because mechanics are illiterate – but to ensure that the instructions can be easily understood.

However, the same approach is not being used in regard to the computer systems designed to fly the planes. As a result, we are seeing more and more aviation accidents caused by a failure in the interface between human and computer. (Hall 2004)

Clear communication is the challenge of management. Business professor Henry Mintzberg, listed among The 50 Most Influential Management Gurus, by Harvard Business Review, writes,

At least 40 percent of a manager’s time is spent in communicating in some form and the manager’s communication is most effective when it is delivered with humble, respectful simplicity. (Managing Mintzberg page 53)

***

The Apostle Paul had delivered a brilliant discourse on the Good News of Jesus Christ to the Athenians at Mars Hill about 50 AD. Athens was home to reknown philosophers: Pericles to Plato, Socrates to Sophocles, to Aristotle and Demosthenes. Theirs was a heritage of learning and debate.

However, the sophisticated Greeks were not impressed with Paul’s eloquence and his evangelization was not a success. Paul knew he had failed and he knew why. He did not mention the Cross. He would not make that mistake again. He then traveled to Corinth and preached the simple message of Christ crucified.

Bible scholar Dr. Randy Yeager illustrates the need for simple communications,

An insurance salesman in western Missouri knew a great deal about actuarial tables and statistical probability, and could make very clear to a prospect why the premiums were what they were and why the odds were that it was better for the prospect to buy than not to buy.

After an hour filled with his didactic eloquence, the prospect knew practically all that is to be known about life insurance. But he did not buy the contract.

The sales manager took the brilliant agent aside and employed what is commonly known in the industry as the KISS principle – “Keep it simple, stupid!”

What Did The Listener Hear and Walk Away With? salesman got the message and became a successful representative of the company. Preachers who do not know the difference between preaching the gospel of Christ and teaching the theology of Christianity should employ the KISS principle. (Randolph O. Yeager 1983) p. 62.

***

And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God. For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling. My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power… 1 Corinthians 2:1-4

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