He Told Not

1 Samuel 14:1
“Now it came to pass upon a day, that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armour, Come, and let us go over to the Philistines’ garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father.”

Jonathan had a great idea on how to defeat the Philistines, but he didn’t tell his father what he was about to do. There was nothing wrong with Jonathan’s plan, in fact, it proved to be successful. Jonathan had no ulterior motives with his plan; he simply didn’t tell his father the plan.

What is the big deal about not telling his father? The big deal was that his father was the king. His father was the one in charge who had to make all the decisions. His father answered to God and the people for how he conducted this military campaign. The big deal was that Jonathan not relaying his intentions to the king led to a division in the troops. It gave a mixed message as to what they should do concerning the king’s commandment.

Communication is always the key to any organization’s success. You remove the communication between people in the same organization, and you will find several problems arise that could have been avoided had communication been a part of the organization. Though a lack of communication may not be intentional on anyone’s part, it can always lead to problems down the road. Let me share some important advice on communication.

First, never assume everyone knows what you are doing. Jonathan assumed his father knew what he was doing, but he didn’t. One thing I have learned throughout the years is that it is better to reiterate information and plans than it is to assume that everyone knows what is supposed to happen. Communication may be repetitive, but you will never have to be concerned with people not knowing what to do.

Second, communicating is verbal, not textual. We live in a digital world that often avoids verbal communication and relies solely on some sort of textual communication. I have learned that textual communication can’t relay the tenor of one’s voice. Often, textual communication can be misunderstood. If you want to avoid any misunderstanding, you would be wise to communicate verbally.

Third, every party must communicate with each other. It always takes two parties to communicate. Leadership can’t expect followers to communicate if they don’t communicate. Likewise, followers are just as obligated to communicate with leadership as to what is happening. The best communication is always going to be both leader and follower communicating with each other regularly and thoroughly.

Fourth, don’t force people to communicate on your terms. One of the mistakes some people make is they force everyone to communicate on their terms. Just because you prefer to communicate in a certain manner doesn’t mean someone else knows how to communicate in that medium. The best thing a leader can do is to learn how to communicate with everyone on their level.

Fifth, successful communication always results in a complete understanding of goals, ideology, philosophy, and demands. If everyone communicates with each other, you will find it much easier to complete projects in a timely manner and in the way they are supposed to be done.

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