I learned another method for good communication today. Chuck Shamel, a friend of the long road, wrote about RESPECTful Communication Guidelines in his report of a recent Vestry Retreat for All Saints Episcopal Church in Corpus Christi, TX. The retreat was led by another friend, Rev. Faith Baldwin. Faith introduced them to a new meaning for RESPECT as a way of listening and responding to one another.

Here are the guidelines, using the letters of the word, RESPECT:

R -take RESPONSIBILITY for what you say and feel without blaming others.

E-use EMPATHIC listening.

S-be SENSITIVE to differences in communication styles.

P-PONDER what you hear and feel before you speak.

E-EXAMINE your own assumptions and perceptions.

C-keep CONFIDENTIALITY when it is requested; share CONSTRUCTIVELY.

T-TRUST ambiguity because we are NOT here to debate who is right or wrong.

These principles will be great to use in any conversation!!

(Respectful Communication was developed by Eric H. F. Law. You can read more about them in his book, “The Wolf Shall Dwell With the Lamb”.)