In his book, Getting Naked, Patrick Lencioni offers a picture of an experienced business consultant who learns a lesson in consulting. In a similar manner, we are constantly learning and adapting our methods to reflect the value we find from the stories of our friends. If we were to meet, here’s a list of the things we want to offer:
- a comfortable environment
- a trusting relationship
- a blank notepad and a pen
- a listening ear
- impromptu but engaged questions
- a search of your ‘toolbox’
- an offering of additional tools
- appropriate followup and check-in
Some people can start a conversation with anyone. If you’re like me, it sometimes takes work and some thought to engage people in conversation. Here are a few ideas to get to know the people around you:
- What is your favorite…. (food, activity, color, weather, etc.)?
- Where do you call home (some people have multiple ‘homes’, and some have none)?
- What fills your time (hobby, family, interests, etc.)?
- What are you reading, listening to, or studying?
Being Human (Introspective/Self-Care)
It is not unhealthy to take care of yourself. If you are hurting or unhealthy, you can not be as effective as you were created to be, you cannot help or encourage others as readily, and your team is affected. Personal health is built in the interactions of our physical, spiritual, emotional, and relational condition. But, don’t get stuck in your introspective self-care, it is unhealthy to focus inward too much.
Identity and acceptance are probably the first steps in determining self-health; Understanding one’s worth comes from who they are and not what they do. This is something I’ve struggled with for most of my life, and still there are times I feel insecure. I must remind myself of what is most valuable. A sense of perseverance, resiliency, and healthy coping skills helps reinforce my self-worth. If I choose to deal with disappointment with a poor coping mechanism, I now face the result of multiple stressors.
Here are some resources to assess and restore your personal health:
- Emotionally Healthy Spirituality by Peter Scazzero
- A Clinical Guide to the Treatment of the Human Stress Response by George S. Everly, JR. and Jeffery M. Lating
- Broken and Whole by Stephen Macchia
- Inside Job by Stephen W. Smith
- Healthy, Resilient, & Effective in Cross-Cultural Ministry by Laura Mae Gardner
- Swallowed Up by Angie Shea
- Let Your Life Speak by Parker J. Palmer
Being a Team
Having a support network is important to build perspective, wisdom, skill, and maturity. Having a trusted friend helps us identify blindspots in our life and behaviors that hold us back from optimum effectiveness. Having a group that we can be ourself, laugh, recreate, and rejuvenate increases our acumen as well as empowers them.
How do you build good relationships? I find people who enjoy similar things to what I do. I have multiple interest groups that provide outlets. I meet with friends on a regular basis for conversation, activity, learning, and recreation. I also stretch a bit and have friends who have other viewpoints which helps me to expand my way of thinking and problem solving.
Some Books I have found helpful are:
- Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl
- Boundaries by Henry Cloud and John Townsend
- Resolving Conflict God’s Way by Bill Graybill
- Total Forgiveness by R.T. Kendall
- Alongsider Coaching by Steven Diehl
- Influencer by Joseph Grenny, Kerry Patterson, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
- The Fishermen by Chigozie Obioma
Working Your Craft
What you do is an expression of who you are. What you value will become your priority. Doing what you are designed to do will bring you joy and encourage others.
If you value family or community, you will probably be drained when you are forced into isolation; on the other hand, if you are an introvert, spending a lot of time in crowds may cause extreme stress. The more you stretch from your core values, the greater the stress you will feel. the more stress you feel, the more unhealthy you become, and if you are not healthy, it shows in your actions. If you continue with this cycle too long, you will reach a breaking point.
Here are some thoughts about how to encourage others to be their healthiest self:
- listen and engage. Too often, we all miss the cues that someone is not on their ‘A’ game because we did not listen or engage with their whole person.
- create a time budget and prioritize. Give time to the things you value, remove time from the things that are not a priority. Stephen Covey offered, “The key is not to prioritize what’s on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.”
- delegate and empower. Many times, I feel I have to be the one to get things done. But with a little conversation and engagement, there may be someone close to me who can accomplish the task quite easily, and better than I could… I need to empower them fully with the responsibility and not simply offer the task to do.
Here are some resources that might help with these few thoughts:
- Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
- Getting Naked by Patrick Lencioni
- Doing Church as a Team by Wayne Cordeiro
- Reverse Mentoring by Earl Creps
- Focused Lives by J. Robert Clinton
- Designed to Lead by Eric Geiger and Kevin Peck
Asking about your next step is a sensitive and personal subject. Who’s to say you should move on, get over it, or pull your self up by the bootstraps. That is your call, but sometimes it’s helpful to have someone listen to your thoughts, ask for clarity, or offer perspective.
If I can offer some advice, it would be:
- It is not healthy to compare yourself to anyone. You are a unique person with a unique perspective and purpose… no else can live up to the you that you are meant to be.
- If you are grieving, don’t compare you grief cycle to someone else’s; we each handle things differently; there is no wrong way to grieve.
- If you are in an abusive situation, get out as soon as you can; as a person, you should be treated with value and respect.
- Find a trusted friend and share with them your thoughts. Whether you’re in a healthy phase, a maturing phase, or even a difficult phase, your friend will give you support, encouragement, and an outside perspective.
Do you have a friend like that, send us a message on our contact page and we will figure out the media (email, text, phone, Skype, or in-person). I travel a lot, I may be near your town.
I’d love to have the opportunity hear your story.