Archive for the ‘communication’ Category

Here is a leadership lesson I learned recently: 

There are times when leading that you’ll feel like someone on your team is not on the same page and is not in full support of your leadership. A good leader’s first inclination should be to go to the person and in a loving way approach them and see how they’re doing with your leadership. I did this recently, and the person responded that they were fine. A few weeks went by and I continued to feel the person was still in limbo with their support. I again, approached them to see if there was anything that was bothering them, again, I was assured they were in full support.

Here’s what I took from this:

1. People have different personalities. People show and communicate their support in different ways.

2. Take someone’s word at face value unless their actions speak otherwise.

3. Other issues in the team member’s life might be contributing to their demeanor.

4. Don’t let your personal insecurities cause mistrust of your team. Continuing to approach someone about the status of their support comes off as desperate and is demoralizing to them.

What leadership insecurities do you battle with?

SWAT Team In My Mind

Posted: May 19, 2011 in communication, Life, Thoughts

A few days ago I overheard my oldest son Ethan (7) blurt out in a moment of frustration, “I can’t do anything right.” I made my way over to him to see what was going on. It turned out he was struggling with something he knew how to do in his school work, but he was trying to rush it. He stated again, “I’m not good at anything.” Obviously, I told him that wasn’t true and I began to remind him how powerful our words are. “Just as important as the words we say to others; are the words we say to ourselves”, I told him as we sat at the kitchen table. “The thoughts we tell ourselves about ourselves need to be filtered by the Word of God. The Bible states that we need to take every thought captive.” (2 Cor 10:5). My son loved the idea of taking something captive in his mind. He said, “I’ll send in a SWAT Team to arrest my bad thoughts and put them in Brain Jail.” Not a bad idea.

What thought in your mind needs to be locked up?

Nathan

>Containing Complaining

Posted: January 11, 2011 in communication, tongue

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I’m a complainer. It’s a gift of mine. I’ve been known to complain about all kinds of things. Here is just a small list of things I’ve mouthed off about either in the past or recently:
My car, friends that disappoint me, my extended family, my finances, my health, a meal, a waiter or waitress, a boss, a team member, a task that had to be done…….and that’s just a few that come out of my mouth.
At the heart of my complaining is a heart full of discontentment. It’s about not getting my way or exactly what I want. The key to killing this cancer of discontentment is allowing God to give us an infusion of gratitude. We need a reminder that “every good gift comes from God” (James 1:17). You see discontentment at its core comes from a belief that we are entitled to get what we want or what we think we deserve. We stop being grateful when we think we’re deserving.

When I look at cross however it robs me of thinking I deserve anything. The price Jesus paid on the cross for my sin shuts my mouth. I’ve got to come back to the cross daily and be reminded that Jesus took upon himself what I did deserve to give me what I do not.

The cross on my mind stops the complaining on my tongue,

Nathan

>Go to fullsize imageI learned a brutal lesson this morning as I sat in a Starbucks lounge chair. I was meeting over coffee or in my case Hot Chocolate with a great guy that I’ve been mentoring. It had been several months since we had been able to meet and there was a lot to catch up on. As we talked he shared with me some pretty big decisions that he had made and I found myself somewhat offended that he would not have come to me and asked for my input. As he continued to share I realized that he had withdrawn from the mentor relationship because he thought I was too busy for him and yet I had perceived his lack of contact with me as being a lack of follow through on his part. He wanted an older brother relationship that sought after him and I wanted a mentee that knew the ball was in his court and not mine.

This was a break down in communicating expectations. A few lessons I learned:

1. You cannot assume that people know what your expectations are of them in a relationship. People can’t your mind.
2. You cannot assume to know what others expectations are of you in a relationship. You can’t read their mind.
3. Talk openly about expectations early on in the relationship.
4. When in doubt, ask.
5. If someone fails your expectations have a loving and grace filled conversation with them. Resist the urge to withdrawal, isolate and bail on the relationship.

Always Learning,

Nathan

>A few days ago I was complaining to myself about a friend I felt had let me down. I can be very introspective already and I found myself thinking about what I really value in friendships. What are the qualities that I desire in friendship? As I made a mental list, I was then prompted to ask this logical question: How do I personally measure to up to these qualities? I began to get defensive and rationalize here and there about why I wasn’t always this or that or how it’s different for me because…” We tend to extend ourselves a lot more grace than we extend others.

I believe we’re called to focus on becoming the kind of friend we desire to have. It’s about taking the wood plank out of our own eye before we worry about the speck in others. Lord, help me to think more about what I can bring to a relationship instead of what I’m not getting.

Amen,

Nathan

>Think the Best?

Posted: June 19, 2009 in communication, relationships, trust

>Question: Are you the type of person that thinks the best about others or the worst? Do people have to first prove themselves to you before you view them in a positive way? An outlook that thinks critically of people until they prove otherwise is a heavy load for both sides. One side is an outlook of jaded cynicism (possibly coming from a critical home background or being hurt by people along the way of life.) The other side of our critical view of others is that we ask people to jump through hoops that we wouldn’t want put on us. We can be critical of others in way that we would see as unfair if done to us.
I can hear the arguments now. Nathan, you don’t know what’s been done to me. You don’t know how I’ve been treated….Do you just expect me to get run over? Answer: No. Thinking the best of others doesn’t mean being unwise or not being realistic. It means a balanced approach of wisdom and a love for people that always hopes. Bottom Line: Treat and view people the way you would like to be treated and viewed.

Trust Me,

Nathan

>Pet Peeve Alert: Those people that talk about themselves incessantly. Recently I had a chance to catch up with a friend from the past. It would have been a pleasant conversation had it not been for the fact that my friend talked the entire time and then shockingly had to go. There was a trite “how’s the family?”, but you could tell it was meaningless. You could tell there wasn’t a genuine desire to know how I or my family really was. I’ve been guilty at times of dominating conversations with stories. Here is a test: Next time you are sharing a story with someone and you are interrupted by something, see if people ask you to finish your thought. If they don’t, there’s your sign. Bottom line: It’s not just about asking the right questions in a conversation. It’s about genuinely wanting to know the answers. Don’t just talk to me…listen to me.

Hear me,

Nathan