Scott Hodge

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Communicating Well

Jan 18, 2011
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FACT #0: The above photo has nothing to do with this post.  I just like it.

FACT #1: We all believe we have something(s) important to communicate.

FACT #2: Most of what we communicate isn’t heard.  Or if it is heard, it isn’t remembered.  Or it doesn’t stick.  It seldom moves people to action.

FACT #3: That sucks.  Especially if we passionately believe in whatever it is we’re trying to communicate!

So here are three principles that are helping guide us at The Orchard Community when it comes to what/how we communicate.

INFORM (What is it?)

People need to be creatively educated and informed.  I’m realizing that we ASSume way too much when it comes to what we *think* people know.  Creatively informing people answers the question: What is it? But that’s not enough.

INSPIRE (Why is it important?)

This is the “why” behind the “what”.  This is the part that connects with people’s hearts and imaginations. You want to inspire people to take action?  Tell stories of those who have!  Let them share how their lives (and the lives of those impacted on the other end) have been changed as a result.  Storytelling, vision casting, celebrating, dreaming…are just a few ways to accomplish this.

INVITE (How do I sign up?)

Critical.  Yet SO OFTEN overlooked.  If you are going to go through the hard work of creatively informing and inspiring hearts…..yet fail to give people a clear next step or way to learn more, sign up, join, etc…..than all of the previous was a waste of time.

Now it’s your turn.  What principles guide how you communicate?

(Photo credit)

Early Risers & Productivity

Dec 10, 2010

Just read an interesting article on the correlation between getting up early and productivity.  I don’t know about you, but overall, I am way more productive on days when I’m up early than on days I’m not.

Here’s a few things I’ve learned about myself in regards to staying up late and waking early:

  • For the most part, staying up late is unproductive and a waste of time.
  • It took me a long time to admit that.
  • It’s also the time of greatest temptation and negative thinking for me – especially when I’m tired or exhausted.
  • I am very cautious about trusting my emotions or thought processes when I’m tired.
  • Getting up early sucks.  But only until I’m a few minutes into my shower.
  • Sleeping in sucks even more.  I hardly ever feel good after sleeping in.  I feel groggy, tired, and out of it for several hours.
  • Having time to get quiet, read, journal, write, and spend time in solitude is one of the most important parts of my day.  If I try to have that time without getting up early it seldom works.
  • My ideal amount of sleep is 5-6 hours.
  • I’m not a “natural” early riser.
  • I use my iPhone as my alarm clock and keep it plugged in far away from my bed so that I’m forced to get up and shut it off.  Otherwise, snooze will win.

Here are some interesting snippets from the 99% article:

  • Early risers tend to have a more proactive – and thus productive – mindset…
  • If you’re getting up early, you probably already have a good idea of what you want to accomplish that day – otherwise it would be hard to motivate to get up in the first place.
  • Being an early riser also indicates a natural affinity for ritual and discipline – both key traits of especially productive people.
  • You accomplish tons of meaningful work before most people even get started – allowing you to coast through the rest of your day with a sense of achievement and significantly less anxiety.

How about you? Are you an early riser?  If so, is it natural for you?  If not, how did you develop the discipline to do it?

Read some good tips on rising early in the 99% article here.

Exciting July!

Jul 15, 2010

Excited about a ton of stuff right now!  Here’s a sampling:

One thing is certain – summer is not dead at The Orchard! We’ve got teams headed to Uganda and El Salvador in the next couple of weeks.  One team just returned from a stateside trip and I’m excited that our Orchard Students are heading to the south side of Chicago to spread some love there as well.  This is an amazing tribe!

The Orchard’s annual BBQ & Baptism is a huge event for us every summer.  It’s happening on Sunday, August 8th.  If you’ve never seen one of our baptism videos, check this one out!  (And if you want to get baptized, go here.)

This Sunday I’ll be speaking at one of my favorite churches in the world – NewSong Church in Irvine, CA!  I LOVE the NewSong community and their pastor, Dave Gibbons.  Dave’s a great friend and influence in my life.  By the way, their services are broadcast live online and you can watch live here. (Times are: 9 am, 10:30 and 11:59am PDT)

Speaking of CA…..  I’ll also be at the Origins Event in LA the following weekend.  I’m excited about connecting with so many great people there.  I’m also looking forward to leading two conversations: “City & Church: Flattening The Divide” and “Change: Transforming A Church To Transform a City”.  Leave a comment if you’ll be at Origins!

Was asked to be a part of The Nine’s again this year.  Will be throwing down some video next week.  It’s a pretty cool idea from Leadership Network and Catalyst.  Any ideas on what idea I should devote my nine minutes to?

Love what Tim Schraeder is doing with Outspoken and honored to be a part of this new book for church communications leaders.  Follow them on Twitter.

Great concert by The Swell Season last night.  Might expound on that later.  Go see them if you haven’t.

That’s it for now.  Lots of other exciting things, but I’ll save those for another time.

Happy Thursday!

Apologizing Well

Jun 21, 2010

Apologizing has become somewhat of a lost art, don't you think?  And to a large degree it's understandable because no one likes to admit failure – it's humiliating and when done well, there's no room for pride to stick around.  Which is why it's so hard to do!  Yet… know this as well as I do…apologizing well is one of the most powerful gestures we could ever show another human being. 

So here's five quick thoughts on how to do it well.

1.  Acknowledge your failure.

"I have failed you.  I've let you down.  I have done wrong."

2.  Acknowledge the impact of the failure.

"I have failed you….and as a result, I know I've caused you a lot of pain….I've put you in a very precarious position…..I have hurt you."

What NOT to say: "I'm sorry you were offended by what I did."  NO. That sucks.  Take responsibility.

3.  Tell them you're sorry.

"I've failed you….and I know it has caused you a lot of pain….and I just want you to know that I am truly sorry."

4.  Commit to change.

"….and I'll do whatever I can to make sure that never happens again."

5.  Shut the #*($&! up.

This is where we get into trouble.  Because the tendency is to add on:

"I'm sorry….it's just that…"

"I'm sorry….but I didn't mean it!"

"I'm sorry…it's just that you…"

No.  Don't make excuses.  Don't complicate it.  Don't qualify it. 

I’m calling it SHOCKTOBER.

Oct 20, 2009

Ok, so there are around 2.4 billion things that I'm excited about right now.  And I seriously feel like I need to pinch myself just to make sure this is all real.  Here's a taste.

STORY – It happens next week!  Can't wait.  Around 1,700 pastors, communicators, church leaders, writers, speakers, etc will converge for two days to learn and be inspired by an amazing line up of storytellers –   people like Dave Gibbons, Ed Young, Donald Miller, Nancy Beach, Mike Foster, Stacy Spencer, Chris Seay, and others.  The first day happens on Wednesday, October 28th at the beautiful Paramount Theater in downtown Aurora.  The next day will be workshops (sold out!) happening at The Orchard.  Honored to host and be a part of STORY!

CULTIVATE – Seriously, Chicagoland is the place to be in October.  Cultivate is a highly interactive, conversational, collaborative un-conference that's all about church communication.  It's happening the day before STORY.  And the lineup of facilitators is just sick.  Wow.

DAVE GIBBONS – We are honored to have Dave speak at The Orchard's gatherings the weekend following STORY.  Not only is Dave a good friend, but he's someone God has used to impact my life in some pretty significant ways.  I'm thrilled that our church community gets to hear and learn from him!

THE NEW & IMPROVED….ORCHARD – The Orchard has had an extreme makeover!  Through the amazing "pro bono" generosity of fellow Orchard tribal members, Dawn & Keith Baldwin (Aspire One), we have a new logo and amazzzing new website that will go live later THIS WEEK.  I'll talk more about this in a later post…  STAY TUNED!

LOVE.SERVE.GIVE. – It's The Orchard's GLOCAL outreach opportunities this winter.  More about this later as well… But just know that we are going to have some amazing opportunities to bring beauty and hope to people locally in our city and globally in places like Uganda, Thailand, and El Salvador.  

ORCHARD ART INITIATIVE – Too much to type, but The Orchard is turning into an art gallery starting this month.  Our campus will be filled with art from local artists.  Huge dream come true, but only the beginning…

Ok, there's more, but I my fingers hurt and I need to study.  OUT.

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