It’s the new year! For a goal-oriented person, I find myself giddy with the prospects of this clean slate where I can project future outcomes. All this while most are deciding resolutions for the new year. The difference? Resolutions are slight course corrections that will impact your goals.
Sure, you may want to set goals first then decide your resolutions. But if you start with these three resolutions you can set better goals. Why? Because these foundational resolutions will set the stage for a better 2019. Guaranteed.
- Resolve to do the best you can with the limitations you have. Many communicators quickly blame the limitations for their ineffectiveness. Stop! Decide to get the best results with what you’re dealing with. Could you do more if you had a bigger budget? More staff? Better computer? Probably. But this year, decide to amaze people with the outcomes you can get with all the limitations you have. Squeeze the last drop of juice out of the lemon. Then don’t rest until you’re happy with your outcomes rather than staying awake stewing over the problems. Everyone has limitations, a good leader still produces quality materials in spite of them!
- Resolve to learn all you can about your congregation and community. Effective communication always rises and falls on how well you know your audience. If you’re speaking to a group of farmers (or fill in the blank), you can better relate communication to them. Telling stories that they’ll instantly connect with because you know exactly what they need. Your church has two audiences: internal (congregation) and external (community). The only way you can be effective with your job? Get to know your audiences. Describe your primary and secondary stereotypical groups that God has given you. Discover demographic information as well as psychographic. Know what they’re looking for, what their predominate needs are, as well as concerns, and goals. How do you do this? Start by seeking out research from your ChMS, your chamber of commerce, or use focus groups so they can talk with you. Then make sure you listen and learn.
- Resolve to put yourself in the receiving end of communications. Every piece of communication that your church ministries are pushing MUST go through the filter of how the person will receive it. You must advocate for them. Often, the church leadership wants to give too many details that the majority of people in the congregation or community aren’t interested in. Want them to be? Start with communicating benefits (from their vantage point) and once they buy into the benefit, they’ll seek out the details. So go ahead and sit in the pew and pretend you’re the congregation. Would you pay attention to the communications? Drop boring details and get their attention with solutions. Then provide all details on your website!
Next up? Set measurable goals, knowing you’ve set foundational resolutions, so that you’re shooting for something. It’s what good leaders do. Be known for it!