Tag Archives: Communication

I Am In Love With Love, and Therefore Dangerous

Joshua Harris's Book is Being Kissed by Jason - Kinda Strange Actually

I kissed my copy of Joshua Harris’s book goodbye before returning it to the library. I Kissed Dating Goodbye turned out to be a succinct book of thoughts that I have had.

I was chatting with my friend Debbie, who is one of these red-headed tell-you-what-is-on-her-mind kind of people whether you want to hear it or not. I asked her what she thought about some of the ideas behind Joshua Harris’s book I Kissed Dating Goodbye and happened to mention, “I am not sure why I never read it back when it came out years ago.” She turns to me with that sparkle in her eye, and says “Well Jason, that was probably because you were not as desperate as you are today.”

Whoa – ouch!

Remember, jokes aren’t funny unless they have a little bit of truth to them. I did laugh at her comment and my situation. I remembered the quote “Those that can laugh at themselves will frequently be amused.” I was amused enough to share it.

It is very true: I am a bachelor. Thanks to just how life turned out Continue reading

Facebook Jail Again?!

Stuck in Facebook Jail – Where you can’t add any friends because of ‘bad behavior’ …

This is the fifth time I find myself in Facebook Jail. The first three times, I can understand just a little why Facebook threw a couple of red flags when I added people too rapidly. They thought I was a spamming psychopath with a cute profile picture – there are plenty of them out there. But I really do know a lot of people. I had 997 friends last year when I said ‘see ya‘ to the off-centered ‘f’ logo. But now I am locked out of adding any more friends for 12 more days …

So I knew Facebook didn’t like me after getting the warning “You are using the People You May Know in a way that it was not intended to be used” when I rejoined Facebook in July. That message was what I got after over-exerting my left mouse button from all the ‘Add Friend’ clicking I was doing to my hundreds of amigos. This kept up until finally Facebook sentenced me to 7 days of not being able to send a friend request. I guess I needed to cool my jets.

Then after my first jail term, being the bright engineer I am, I thought that rather than clicking on all these people I knew and misusing the ‘Friends You May Know’ app, I would just Continue reading

Sabbath Story: Where You End and God Begins

Hot air balloon taking off while four people watch

How much can we plan for and organize – and how much do we have to say, ‘God, you have it from here’ because I have no idea where you are taking me?

Once upon a time, there was a little boy engineer that wore glasses. He was a pretty smart little boy, able to figure out how things worked, was good at solving puzzles, and really liked to draw – but he had a problem with trust. One Friday afternoon, the little boy engineer asked his mommy whether she could make her super-amazing-scrumptious potpie for Sabbath dinner that night. She said she could … but only if daddy bought some vegetables from the store on his way home from work.

Since the little boy engineer absolutely loved his mommy’s super-amazing-scrumptious potpie, he thought and thought about what was the best way to talk to his daddy. He knew his daddy really liked mommy’s super-amazing-scrumptious potpie too, but that daddy sometimes forgot to go to the store on Fridays. So the little boy engineer wrote down his plan to make sure that daddy went to the store.

The plan was pretty detailed and the little boy engineer thought he had it all Continue reading

An Announcement is Not a Story

Typewriter with Wedding Rings

Are your communications just announcements or are you building up a relationship through stories? (Credit: Photographer LindseyJoy.net)

There is a such a huge difference between an announcement and a story – but too often people confuse the two. We can be much better communicators, things stick better in our memories and encourage us, if we tell stories rather than just announce things.

Let me give you an example.

A wedding announcement is usually a fun thing to get in the mail. It is usually printed on really nice paper, in a finely crafted envelope usually with colored ribbon or tissue paper, and sometimes even includes the picture of the engaged couple. The announcement will include information of when the wedding is and details about where it will be held. They are beautiful pieces of art that I have saved away the many I have received in my memory box. But for the most part, announcements are informational.

Now contrast the announcement with Continue reading

Industry Speak

Speak up for peace

Maybe we need to tape our mouths shut if all we can say is 'Industry Speak'. Image by Guillaume Brialon via Flickr

It is so easy to misunderstand each other no thanks to …wait for it … ourselves.

Joy Monteiro, in a recent blog post, talks about how when talking about a book, it is described as “Book Title, 246+x pp” – and she could not find out what ‘pp’ meant. She did the due diligence of googling it. She isn’t lazy – but rather a victim of a crime that I (and the rest of modern humanity) has perpetrated for long enough. It’s Industry Speak.

Every industry has these terms and phrases, or forbid-me-to-say-it acronyms that you have to be ‘in the know’ to know. For those of us that are not practicing hobbits – this can be a bane to communication. That’s the problem with industry speak – it’s there to help us … but eventually it kicks us in our butts when we want to go mainstream with what we know about.

So in my work, there is Electric Vehicle Speak or Smart Grid Speak. On the Sabbath, sometimes I hear Church Speak. All this is well and good in the circles we live – but sometimes we come in contact with … gasp … ‘outsiders’. Sometimes the Greasers talk to the Socs … and that is where the problems begin. (ASIDE: according to the author of that book, S.E. Hinton intended for Socs to be pronouced ‘soashes’ as if trying to shorten the word social. When reading the book in Middle School, I remember referring to them as the ‘socks’. [grin])

I love to learn about other people – pick up on their own ‘speak’. I think I like it so that next time I meet someone from that industry I can have a bag of ‘speak’ up my sleeve to increase engagement and interest in the conversation. I love the eyebrow raise when you say something that makes them realize you know a little something about their passion.

Industry speak comes out of trying to make communication better within a close-knit community – but because this shared tribal knowledge is kept within that smaller group of people, when those terms and phrases are spread to the public, a different mental picture comes to mind – or worse, no mental picture at all.

This is usually why Marketing and Communication (INDUSTRY SPEAK WARNING: ie MarCom) teams exist – to un-speak-ify the speak. It’s hard to preach the gospel of the coming Kingdom of God when the term ‘gospel’ brings to Southerner’s mind people telling you in grocery stores that if you don’t accept Jesus, you are going to hell. For that matter, most people do not even have a working knowledge of what the Kingdom of God is – so who could blame them. The Church of God has it’s work cut out for them … just like most industries do.

I’m not sure how we can avoid this … it’s like what God tells Jeremiah: ‘man does not know how to lead his own steps.’ I am of the belief that the vast majority of us are naturally bad at communication – but there are a few, like my friend Jeremy Lallier, that can ‘connect’ in a subtle, smart, and different way.

This ‘connecting’ idea – the main thrust behind industry speak – the main thought behind ‘communication’ in general – is why we do this to ourselves. We are trying to connect thoughts and feelings with words. (ASIDE: this is branding in a nutshell.) And yet, because we try so hard, we have a tendency to alienate outsiders.

We have to connect when we communicate – and that is why knowing your audience is so important. But by just doing that, we haven’t fixed the issue, we just applied a band-aid. Truly connecting, and throwing industry speak out the window, is the stuff God and His Kingdom is made of.

Boy am I looking forward to the King’s Return … and I’m certainly not talking Tolkien.