Respectful Communication

Respectful Communication Guide 

  • If you have a problem with me, come to me (privately).  
  • If I have a problem with you, I’ll come to you (privately).  
  • If someone has a problem with me and comes to you, send them to me. (I’ll do the same for you).  
  • If someone consistently will not come to me, say, “Let’s go to the choir director or section leader together. I am sure she will see us about this.” (I will do the same for you).  
  • Please do not interpret me – I would rather you ask me what I meant. On matters that are unclear, do not feel pressure to interpret my feelings or thoughts – I would rather you ask me.  
  • I will be careful how I interpret you and if I am unclear, I will ask you what you meant.  
  • If it is confidential, don’t tell me.  
  • If it is confidential, don’t ask me to tell you.  
  • I do not read unsigned letters or notes.  
  • I do not respond to unnamed complaints, some of which begin with, “I have heard several people saying . . .”  
  • Please do not hint to me, hoping I will understand your need or know what you intend me to hear – I prefer you to say exactly what you mean.  
  • I will not hint to you, hoping you will understand my need or know what I meant you to hear – I will try to say exactly what I mean.  
  • ‘Parking-lot’ or ‘hallway’ griping is poisonous. If you need to complain, please do it only with the intention of healing it – and even then – tell only the one who can do something about it. (I will do the same)  
  • When in doubt, just say it. The only dumb question is the one that doesn’t get asked.  

Adapted from Communication Guidelines by Rev. Dr. Edward Viljoen