The Art of Subtlety

Subtlety is an art, isn’t it?

Most of us learn this the hard way. Sometimes mass emails are an effective means of communication, but many other times they fall on deaf ears.

I remember in my university business class we discussed the most effective means of communication. Numero uno? Face-to-face conversation. Body language is everything. People communicate a lot with their body when they are speaking to you. Next, is telephone, then email. Yes, email is last on the list of effective methods of communication.

Why? Email is passive. You can choose to ignore that extra email that doesn’t tickle your fancy. It is impersonal. But if you try and call someone, or better yet, engage with a person face-to-face, that other person, if they are interested, is able to track with you and your message. Facial cues and affirmative nods provide insight into how well you are engaging the person whom you are speaking to.

As a Christian, I also find that face-to-face interaction is the most effective means of communication. Phone dialogue isn’t as rich as meeting with somebody in person. And certainly emails can be misconstrued… Thankfully, our Saviour came down from heaven and actually took on human flesh. He visited sinful humanity and did not simply leave us written instructions, though we are left with His Word, but He lived among us, healing the sick and doing many wondrous signs amongst us. That same power is available to those who call upon Him and are led by His Holy Spirit!


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