The 4 ‘T’s of Talk

The 4 ‘T’s of Talk: a critical part of the art of communication

1. Time

WHEN is the best TIME to talk?

Sometimes there is never a ‘comfortable’ or ‘perfect’ time to talk about important stuff but there is usually a better time. Is always good rule of thumb to ask for permission to discuss a topic rather than be a time and space intruder.

Be sensitive to the timing ⏱️ and rhythm 🥁 of the conversation. I know I struggle with this but always remember God gave you 2 ears 👂👂 and 2 eyes 👁️👁️ yet just one mouth 👄 for a very good reason. Listen and observe twice if not four times as much as you talk. Thoughtful and open ended questions are so important. Remember, curiosity before judgement!

Remember the sound of silence is powerful; the powerful pause.

2. Tone

Keep in my WHY you are conversing and that will help ‘set, mirror and maintain the TONE‘.

Voice inflection and volume are critical elements to tone.

Check out this example:

I ran to the store. / I ran not the other guy.

I ran to the store. / I ran but I didn’t walk nor drive there.

I ran to the store. I went to the store not ordering online.

Isn’t the an interesting power of inflectional tone?

This is all about reading and listening between the word and lines. Also, pay attention to body language. NLP is a great way to help understand communication.

3. Technique

The is the HOW elements of conversation regarding the TECHNIQUES of using words, vocabulary, grammar, linguistics etc.

The biggest technique is the power of listening and being curious, as discussed previously.

One great method is to choose a Word to mindset on for a year along with expanding one’s vocabulary.

4. Truth

Yes, the truth matters…ultimately. ‘It is what it is’ is a popular saying as is ‘honesty is the best policy’ for good reason. With that said, the truth is not a license to be a jerk and insensitive.

In order to be a successful purveyor of the truth, we need to dwell in the land of reality and maintain a full, 360 degree holistic perspective while understanding the difference between fundamental principles and individual preferences; majors and minors.

Race only matters to racists.

I am going to challenge Christians that we need to be using different terminology when discussing issues about race. We are all impacted by the secular world, and we need to learn to not only build our thinking on God’s Word to develop a truly Christian worldview, but also to use terminology consistent with that worldview instead of the secular worldview.

When Christians do this, they will be communicating as they should and we trust this will also stimulate people to ask questions about the terms being used to be an even more effective witness for Christ. I have found this then opens a door to talk about the Bible and also directs people to the saving gospel.

For instance, consider the following:

Instead of using terms that classify people as “black” or “white,” we need to understand that everyone is actually the same basic color—brown. The main pigment in our skin is called melanin, and it’s a brown pigment. So-called “black” people are actually dark brown. So-called “white” people are actually light brown.

What we observe is people with shades of skin from dark brown all the way to light brown. In other words, people’s skin is different shades of brown. Whenever anyone talks about “black” or “white” people, we need to explain to them the fact that people are not different colors but different shades of brown. In doing this we can also talk about the genetic variability God built into Adam and Eve to produce lots of variation in skin shades. This then enables a person to talk about the first two people and the message of sin and the saving gospel.

In the year 2000, the Human Genome Project released to the world the result of their research after mapping the human genome, and they declared there is only one race of humans. Of course, those who believed God’s Word in Genesis concerning the creation of the first two people should have been saying all along that biologically there can only be one race. The Bible’s history in Genesis explains that because of rebellion at the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11), God gave different languages causing different groups to move away from each other forming the different nations/cultures around the world (Genesis 10). Thus we shouldn’t be referring to different races of people but different people groups who belong to the one human race.

Once we understand that all humans are the same basic skin color, then we realize we shouldn’t use terms like “people of color.” All (unless they are completely lacking pigment, causing medical issues) people are people of color. Humans need that color (melanin) in their skin for protection from the radiation from the sun. Actually, the amount of melanin people have in the skin represents a tiny part of their genome—it’s just a minor variation. Sadly, we’ve been programmed to believe it’s a major difference, which it is not.

I have had people tell me they are bringing their relatives to the Ark Encounter, so I said to them, “That’s 8 billion people. What you mean is that you are bringing your close relatives.” The point is as we are all one race, going back to Adam and Eve—we are all related to each other. And because we are all one race (that means as descendants of Adam), we are all sinners. So the gospel message is for all people—every tribe, nation, and language. That’s why it’s so important to teach the truth about one human race biologically, though two races spiritually, the saved and the unsaved. God’s Word reminds us the gospel is for the entire human race:

“Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people” (Revelation 14:6).

God saves people from all people groups because all humans belong to Adam’s race:

“After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands” (Revelation 7:9).

Ken Ham – Answers in Genesis