Monday, October 10, 2011

15 mistakes I made while working w/men: Mistake #5

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord and not for men, knowing that you will receive the reward of an inheritance from the Lord—you serve the Lord Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24, HCSB.

5 - Talk in bullets.

            I have found that I can usually tell whether an email is from a man or a woman by the length of it. Most of my emails from my bosses have been one to three words. It is amazing how much they can say with so few words. Emails from the women that I serve with seem to be longer. It is equally amazing how many pages someone needs to say one basic thing. Because of the national ministry that I am blessed to have, I get numerous emails from women and so there are times when I have to read an email several times to determine what the lady is really saying. When we work with men, we need to learn to talk in bullets, with as few words as possible to communicate our thoughts. I have found it helpful on emails to write out what I want to say, tweak it, and then summarize it with a word or two and send it as a heading. I write the bottom line or bullet first, and then put a phrases or bullets of explanation for them so that if they need more information, they can read it. Somehow this satisfies my need to communicate more than the base facts and their need to have the bottom line or bullet first. If I am going to talk to my boss about an idea that I have for ministry, I try to talk through that idea with other women first. This helps me think through the idea and then I try to come up with a short phrase to communicate the idea. With many men, it is helpful to even write the idea on paper using headings and bullets. This way, even when we do talk in circles, they understand better what we are telling them or asking about.

Excerpts from Women Leading Women: The Biblical Model for the Church, Chapter Six, Serving with Men, by Jaye Martin.