What You'll Discover in this Episode:

The Advantage of Personal Conversation

Let us continue our discussion from the last two podcasts about covering or confronting an offense. In this podcast, Pastor Jeff talks about the advantage of personal conversation in conflict resolution. If there is an issue which is important enough to correct, then it is important enough to do it lovingly and face to face.

What are the advantages of personal conversation?

  • We might say harsh, careless things in writing.
  • There is a greater depth in meeting personal.
  • Meeting personally gives an opportunity for immediate clarification of possible misunderstandings.
  • We cannot tell the tone of voice in a text or email.
  • If you believe you need to put your thoughts in writing, hand them over personally.
  • Use what you wrote as notes in the one-on-one conversation.
 Share your thoughts in our community section!


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  • Right on! Even before I listened to this week Podcast, I read the bullet points. Just reading the description of the Podcast my mind immediately jumped to communication is like 90% non-verbal, body language. Well, I looked up on line what the actually percentage for non-verbal communication is 93%; 55% Body language, 38% voice tone and 7% words.

    Words in the written form (other than the Bible) have no real personality, they are lifeless without tone and body language. Sometimes the reader takes the written word out of context, or interprets its intended meaning completely different. The writer meant one thing and the reader interprets it the opposite way.

    Just last week I sent a text to the church’s secretary requesting we order more pamphlets of Chuck Smith’s Comfort for Those Who Mourn. I just knew my text was going to be misunderstood. So, after reading my text and even changing the wording several times, and guess what it was taken misunderstood. But the phone call solved the misunderstanding, which we were both glad about.

    • Right on Kevin. It is so easy when reading the written word, to jump to conclusions that are incorrect. In the case of the word of God we have the Holy Spirit to help us to rightly divide the words that we read. We actually have a one on one face to face time in our Bible reading as the Holy Spirit, who dwells in us, teaches us all things that Jesus wants us to learn. We need to have that one on one close up time with those that we try to help.

  • I love this podcast. I am really old school. It drives me bonkers to be on a phone call with someone wanting me to give them a phone number or email of other person, and when I say ” ok I have here “, they say “oh just email me the number. I want to say, “is there no pencil or pen in the house?” I know I am dating myself but sometimes I fear that some folks could not live without an electronic device. Pastor Jeff is right on when it comes to reaching out to help others. There is nothing like a personal one on one sit down with someone that we want to help. That personal eye to eye contact is essential to being an effective councilor. Reading someone’s face and allowing them to read yours will keep the conversation real and on track.

    • Harry, what drives me crazy is texting. One simple phone call could take care of the situation but No! the texting marathon continues for over 15 minutes. You explain something then that person take is wrong then you have to explain your explanation of the explanation. Voice infection is like 33% of communication.

    • I feel the same way, but I had to learn to live in this techie word. Especially having four children who are all millienials that love texting and social media. I tried to fight the good fight and not give in to it, but it was no use. Lolol. My children won. Like you I rather receive a phone call or face to face conversation. Enjoyed your comments, blessings!

    • Hello Harry, I was not thinking about it but your comment about personal eye contact is important. I was reminded of scripture when Peter was restored by Christ on the beach John 21:15-19. Now it does not talk about Jesus and how he may have looked at Peter but His words were powerful and loving and truthful. There is something powerful in being able to see each other. Thanks for sharing.

    • As a “native” to this generation, I hold onto my Dad’s traditional ways: Let’s meet and talk it out face to face. Especially when I want to get something done, I would much rather go in person and make an appointment instead of calling.
      I think coming together in person allows for that sense of seriousness to also be known, just being there means you are sacrificing time to care for them and the situation.

    • Hi Harry… I like and agree with this comment here…”There is nothing like a personal one on one sit down with someone that we want to help. That personal eye to eye contact is essential to being an effective councilor. Reading someone’s face and allowing them to read yours will keep the conversation real and on track.” This is true as long as we are reading the face correctly and they are reading ours. Just as a text message can be misinterpreted so can (at times) our facial expressions, and other forms of body language. Eye to eye contact is always important yet there are those who have grave difficulty making such. There are times when we will have unexpected (sit-down, or stand up) personal conversations in which we are called to be “instant in season and out of season” (2 Timothy 4:2). yet there are also times when these personal conversions will be pre-planned in which we can prepare for by spending time aforehand in praying and taking notes. Either way, a “one on one sit down” is definitely more real, and intense than a quick response and send with the fingers.

  • I agree with the 6 advantages Jeff pointed out. There is great value in seeing someone face to face personally, especially when addressing a conflict. We can see their body language and vice versa. It is easy to verbally dump our hurts onto another and say hurtful things that are emotionally charged in writing and even over the phone. We have to be discerning when addressing a conflict and seek God first.

    In instances where confrontations have taken place without resolution, I offer to meet with both parties. Communication is a continuous work and we can get stuck. As long as both parties are willing to resolve the conflict I let them begin dialoguing. I ask the Holy Spirit to show me what to address and teach them how to not only talk to each other, but also how to listen.

    Jesus knew we would struggle in this area and instructed us in Matthew 18:15-17 how to address a conflict: “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that ‘by the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.’ And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.”

    We need to be intentional to walk in the Spirit and let Him guide us. Let all we do be done in love.

    • I agree with you, we need to be able to see body language and facial expressions. That is a big part in counseling which helps Biblical Counselors to discern what is really being communicated. Most communication is in body language and facial expressions. Thanks for sharing. Blessings!

    • Hi Christina. I like your point that communication is a continuous work. It reminds me that I need to prepare myself in having a tough conversation that it may take several conversations for the issue to be resolved and that’s ok. That’s how relationships work. In adding to Jeff’s point I think having a face to face conversation it cuts down the time it takes to fix the problem because less time is spent untangling the meanings behind what is said. Thanks for sharing that.

  • This was a fantastic podcast. I’ve been through many miscommunication struggles with texts and email. Trying to figure out the right words to avoid misunderstandings can almost be a full-time job. And if I send a text that’s taken out of context (lol) trying to fix the message through countless more texts just makes everything worse. At that point, I have to call the person to reason it out anyway. The conclusion is always ” that’s not what I thought you meant” or ” Well, that’s not how it sounded to me”. I’ve also come to the point where I don’t enjoy commenting on Facebook or voicing my personal opinion. When I do comment, I have to be able to back it up with scripture. I have also found that the enemy attacks the mind through our words. Especially in vague texts and emails. It’s best to say all in love and kindness. If it’s a matter of the heart that needs attention I believe it’s always best to talk about it in person or over the phone. Our tone of voice and body language are so important to effective communication in some areas. I love this verse, Jeremiah 1:9 Then the Lord put out His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, “Behold, I have put my words in your mouth”. Yes, He can put those words in a text too but when spoken I can feel the Holy Spirit doing the speaking.

    • Shauna, I like your statement “well, that’s not how it sounded to me”. I have heard that statement from people after having a personal conversation much less after an email. Sometimes people hear what they want to hear no matter what you say. It is just much easier to overcome this attitude if the conversation is face to face.

    • Me too Shauna. It’s so easy to get offended through writing or to offend someone else. This being a real struggle, I have found there are some people who prefer written communication over talking or meeting in person. Then there are also some people who “ghost” via text, email or phone call and completely avoid any conversation. Then they will call or show up in person sometime later and not acknowledge their silence. Sometimes they will even stop responding to texts in the middle of a conversation, and show up in some way at a later date like nothing happened. Communicating effectively can be so tricky. I prefer any communication over silence. The silence is the hardest for me. I love the reference in Jeremiah and look forward to reading your responses each week.

    • Agreed. Most of the time, when we are texting someone, we are also multi-tasking doing a bunch of other things as well. While one can “read” as much as they want into a text reply/comment there typically isn’t too much thought put into them…they are our most flippant form of communication next to emojis.

    • Shauna, I had to go look at that verse in Jeremiah. I want to pray according to that verse that God would put His words in my mouth. Peter said that in 1 Peter 4:11a If anyone speaks let him speak as the oracles of God. You are right it is only by the Holy Spirit that we should be led to speak. The written word is powerful as is the spoken word. Jesus taught them as one having authority (Matthew 7:29 a). Again to add to my second sentence about what I want to pray is that what I speak and write will be under his authority, shared with a heart of love.
      Thank you for sharing the verse out of Jeremiah.

    • I am with you on the commenting on Facebook comment. I hold back so much from giving my opinions because they are so easily and conveniently taken out of context. We live in a world where opinions are no longer valued nor excepted because of the selfish society that we have become. This day in age, if you think different from me (regardless if your reason is justified or proven) it is grounds for offense. It’s sad but true.

  • I identified with this week’s podcast, in regards, to the ‘ADVANTAGE of Personal Conversation’ so much. Undisputibly there is a BIG advantage! My job requires one on one exploratory conversation and can get quite personal. I love connecting with people on a one on one basis and personally favor this form of communication. I can text like speedster and hold a deep conversation through Bitmoji & gif…but I will take a coffee date over those options any day of the week! I’m most effective in person overall and have realized how much I get out of personal experience through restraints and flexibility requirements of the pandemic. Not just in respect to the giving and receiving of information with the other party…but from an energy stand point. You can tell so much about a person from the feelings they emote, their visual triggers, body language…even their smell(s), what they are wearing and/or carrying with them. As communication became challenging (and mask to mask vs. face to face), it was difficult to achieve goals and meet the expectations of my clients. I also found out how much I deeply valued all of the eye candy and impact of the senses that an in person experience provides. I am extremely visual and being forced to substitute the in person meetings for texts/emails or virtual ZOOM chats brought to the forefront, for me how I have become accustomed to processing the world around me. Also what some of my drivers were in relation to feeling satisfied, happy or accomplished. I feel really blessed to have been given the opportunity to learn so much about my strengths as well as my weaknesses through in spite of the trials and turbulence of the past 18 months. There is always pain and discomfort in the process, but momentum is what its all about!

    • That has been a struggle for me too these past 18 months or so. Not being able to see facial expressions has been so odd. I noted early on that people who don’t normally make eye contact were almost forced to with the facemask. I began to notice eye expressions. Who knew they were even a thing?! I love how you included feelings, visual triggers, body language, smells and what they are wearing and/or carrying with them. It’s amazing how God gave us different senses to see a clearer picture. I love the emojis and gifs too. They do help add life to our written messages. Keep up the momentum girl!

    • I enjoyed reading all about how you engage with someone on every level that you can. The visuals are so important, especially in serious or meaningful conversations. They say “the window to the soul is the eyes” and I don’t think that’s in the Bible, but that is very true. I know I can see so much about someone just gazing into the emotions within their eyes. The in-person fellowship is probably one of the most important things we can do as humans, since from the beginning that’s how it was meant to be, as God walked through the garden, looking for Adam and Eve to be with them in person. Continue to grow in your strengths, and may God lead you and bless you.

  • Love this Podcast! It has been very difficult being able to have face to face conversations with Covid and all the restrictions that are attached. I’ve had to do a lot of phone counseling and its very tricky because you can’t see facial expressions or body language. I have found people are very comfortable in just texting instead of having a conversation which I’m not a big fan of. Just like what Pastor Jeff spoke about, words and their content can be lost in translation, misinterpreted, or misunderstood. And this does and will always cause issues that are sometimes hard to correct because people rather believe the worst than admit they were mistaken in the interpretation of what was written. I look forward to having face to face conversation again and being able to connect with people.

    • MichelleR: Covid has affected many things in today’s society and one of them is the lack of one-on-one conversations. Here are the statics for conversations, 93% is non-verbal; 55% Body language, 38% voice tone and 7% words.

      It has pushed us even further into our electronic isolation world. Even when I am texting someone, I add a disclaimer and I am still misunderstood. Acts 2:42 in one of my favorite scripters; Acts 2:42 And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

      • I really appreciated your inclusion of the breakdown of the % of parts of a conversation. All of the Pandemic induced restriction & changes really got me thinking about the importance of “rituals” in society. You mention the “breaking of bread” above, as mentioned in Acts 2:42. I grew up in Asia and there is a great importance, in Asian cultures, placed on the sharing of a meal and the connection this provides. Whether we are speaking of grabbing a coffee with a friend, taking a walk with a neighbor, a counseling session or confrontation; personal conversation is so important for REAL connection and cannot be substituted.

      • Hi Kevin, Thank for the info. Its amazing how a lot of our communication is non verbal and how we need to learn to listen with our eyes. Body language say so much and is usually the true source of the truth. Thank you commenting. Blessings!

    • Hi Michelle. I think you are right that people have gotten comfortable with texting rather than in person conversations and I think it’s because people do not want to actually do the work to understand. They don’t want the responsibility of knowing what was actually meant and responding whole heartedly. I say people, but really this is observations of myself. In texting the goal is to say what you need as quickly and concisely as you can. It’s not about developing although I think some people can be good at that. Texting is an easy out for avoiding deeper conversations.

      I was thinking about the point of tone too. If a person is in a position of needing some correction they may not be in the best position to really consider what is meant and intended in a text or email. Having a conversation this way may be leaving an open door for strife. I’m not saying texting is of the devil. I kind of agree with Erika’s post from earlier in that sometimes it’s the best option, that is it’s better to get it said by text then never addressing the issue, but like Jeff said “if it’s with addressing, it’s worth doing it right. “

      • Hi Barbara, I agree with you that sometimes a text or email is the only option, which better than nothing at all. In saying that, I personally prefer face to face so that the conversation and content of it doesn’t get lost in translation. I sometimes think we asa society have lost gift of good and deep conversation. thanks for your comment. Blessings!

  • I was not paying attention to the timing of a text made on a Sunday morning May 2, 2021. Although my text was encouraging the timing of its arrival was not perfect. One of the recipients received it during the 1st service. She responded in kind to tell me that although she was encouraged, because she does not turn off her ringer, during church. I responded in a gentle sarcastic way ( Pastor Jeff said that during the podcast).
    The teaching on 1st Peter 1:22 Since you have purified yourselves in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another with a pure heart was a week later on May 9, 2021. I texted her again but she did not respond.
    After listening to this podcast I called her. She called me back and we were able to talk about it. She was not upset like I thought she was and she did not think about my comment at all. If I had not spoken to her about it though I would have thought differently.
    Communication is very important. This is not the first of misunderstandings with others but I am convinced that meeting together and talking with one another is so important. I am reminded of the scripture about the woman at the well in John 4:4 But He needed to go through Samaria. Like Jesus, there are times when we need to go and be face to face with the person. I am grateful for those in my life who are obedient to help me in my walk.
    Thanks, Pastor Jeff

    • I love your reference to John 4:4. It’s true the Holy Spirit does guide us to where we need to go and what we need to do and even what we need to say. And that’s what it boils down to, it’s being obedient to what the Spirit guides. I have felt the Spirit guide me to send a simple text that low and behold made a world of difference to someone. Other times as I was avoiding the face to face confrontation and writing the text or email, I have felt the Spirit say, a text or email will not do, ask them to meet with you for coffee. Obedience is key.

    • I had a similar experience texting my new group leader in a bible study at my church. I texted her a few times and got some replies that she was stressed out and having issues with someone new in her church family. I immediately thought she was referencing me. I was pretty bummed out for a week. I stopped texting her. Anyway, after praying and avoiding her I found out it wasn’t me at all. I took it all wrong. I should have just asked her face to face it would have made all the difference. I received a text later saying the Lord knows what we need and who we need at the moment. John 4:4 The Holy Spirit is our guide. Love that!

  • Though I agree and completely understand that personal confrontation is best to avoid misunderstandings, I am the texter and email writer, that is my preference. I hear many people get offended over break up texts or apology texts or emails, but that doesn’t bother me because though some call it coward, I understand that sometimes it’s easier to express ourselves better in writing. I especially prefer it with people who are argumentative, the kind that have a rebuttal for everything and have to one up on everything, that are not listening to understand but rather to respond. You know the ones God calls “folly” or “fools”. I have had good and bad experiences through approaching this way. I feel like through writing I can gather my thoughts better, analyze my approach, pause and ask the Holy Spirit if this is right and erase what I said if the Holy Spirit convicts me. I can take my time that I otherwise can’t while in front of a person. That’s just me and how I function, not necessarily right maybe, that’s just what works for me. After expressing the things I need to say in writing, I have no problem with clarifying or elaborating face to face afterward because through writing it first I already am clear on what I intended to say. I really like that Pastor said he writes his thoughts down prior or during the conversation, I like that approach and will be trying it.

  • This point is very true, and I learned this the hard way. I am thankful for the extra teaching on this subject. I once wrote my parents a letter, sharing with them my thoughts and feelings about certain things. I realized later that I had blamed them in my letter for a lot of my own personal mistakes; which was very wrong of me to do.
    I like what Jeff said, grasping that visual of taking that speck out of someone’s eye, and doing a good job of that surgery. That really puts into perspective for me of how to treat someone who I may need to confront. Being gentle and humble, doing my own surgery first, and making it a meaningful conversation to restore; that’s my take away from today.

  • I just real quick want to say thank you Pastor Jeff for your words on Memorial Day. In recent years as my dad who is also a veteran has shared about this holiday I have become more impressed with it’s importance. Thank you also for your service.

    But onto the podcast. I really appreciated the points given about talking in person. It’s been my personal conviction that tough conversations must happen in person, but I often use the excuse of inconveniencing the other person as a reason not to have the conversation at all. I’m working on that. Tips like these help.

    I really appreciated the advice to use a written statement as a sort of launch pad for the conversation. I often times have to write things down in order to make sure my thoughts are organized and coherent. So having the “notes” are hugely helpful but I also liked that as we face the person we see them as a dear one and can adjust our speech accordingly. I can be so focused on the facts sometimes and miss that there is a human being on the other end. A human who is made in His image and has a beating heart. Having the notes I think helps speak to the person and not just the issue because the “facts” have already been laid out on the paper. That part of my brain can go take a back seat for a second and the relational part can step forward to do the work. All of this though must be submitted to the Holy Spirit, as we all know I’m sure.

    • Hi Barbara… I can relate to this comment… “I really appreciated the advice to use a written statement as a sort of launch pad for the conversation. I often times have to write things down in order to make sure my thoughts are organized and coherent. So having the “notes” are hugely helpful but I also liked that as we face the person we see them as a dear one and can adjust our speech accordingly.”

      Writing/journaling thoughts down before engaging in a one on one personal conversation/confrontation is great advice. Someone once said that “hindsight is always 20/20” and in this case it seems to ring true. Jotting down one’s thoughts before the actual meeting seems to give one a chance to take a closer look at his or her own intentions and/or feelings. I like how you refer to the other as a “Dear one” as we are all “precious in His sight”.

  • There are definitely advantages to personal (in-person) conversations, but there are also advantages to communicating with present technology (text messages). Whoever thought thirty years ago that you would be able to hold a small device in your hand and in a matter of moments not only reach out to someone, but actually see them while they are in another town, state, and/or even country. Absolutely amazing…next we will be transporting each other from place to place in the same manner with those infamous words of “beam me up Scotty.”

    Before we get to excited and impressed about today’s technology, I guess we should recall who the “prince of the power of the air is” (Ephesians 2:2), and exactly what that might mean. It is true, Satan is a master in twisting our words, manipulating our thoughts, and even influencing our responses. Many of us have experienced this firsthand in receiving and sending text messages. Sometimes in responding with a text message we tend to hit the send button so quickly with no hopes of retrieving what was said, only to regret it a few moments afterwards Even sometimes in communicating in person it would seem that (in the heat of the moment) the mouth truly gets to moving faster than the brain does, often leaving us with a fresh taste of crow on our lips.

    Personally, I am a pen and paper guy. Putting things down on paper before the one on one confrontation gives me the chance to ponder on what I am trying to say. Often times in doing this I can see that it is truly my heart that is above all “deceitful and desperately wicked,” (Jeremiah 17:9), and that it is me that is need of much grace. Another advantage to pen and paper is that my eraser works well God wants it to, and what might have first been a missile of destruction (spiritual pride, , arrogance, and immaturity) can quickly and rightfully turn into a missile of love (compassion, forgiveness, and brotherly kindness).

    In whichever way we choose to converse, “Let your speech always be with grace, seasoned, as it were with salt, so that you may know how you should respond to each person” (Colossians 4:6).

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