Oct 172013
 

In the middleHow many times have you felt stuck in the middle of an argument by two people that you love?  You can see both sides of things, but there’s an impasse and the relationship appears to be falling apart, or the opportunity will be lost and at no small cost to those involved.

In the case of children involved in a marital dispute, they just want Mommy and Daddy to stop fighting. In the case of a business deal, or government shutdown, people want an agreement to be made that will allow people to move on with their lives without paying a higher price for someone else’s poor decisions or stubbornness.

Jul 312013
 

Emotional dramaAre you being challenged in your relationships? Whether that relationship is with your spouse, your friend or a congregational member, making assumptions about what they “really” mean – can be deadly.

The death of many a relationship has been caused solely by blind assumptions regarding motives and intentions. As a leader in a church, or other position of leadership such as a parent, there is a tendency to assume that you are  the answer, or have the answer. 

Whether you believe that or not isn’t the problem with this assumption– it’s believing that you must be the answer … or you must have the answer. After all, you’re the leader, right?

Jul 202013
 
Man praying

Yesterday I received, along with a host of other people, a string of Tweets from someone we all know and love dearly.  This sweet man was visiting a city that he was not completely familiar with. While there, he decided to take a walk and, as is his nature, became deeply engrossed in his thoughts and prayers. 

The time flew and when he realized the sun was setting, he was mortified to find that he had completely lost track of where he was and was now in unfamiliar territory.

Moon at night

Oct 232012
 

Disgusted and frustratedIt seems obvious enough, but somehow, this issue of relevant and effective communication gets lost when it comes to communicating spiritual matters.

When you are in a computer store, shopping for a new computer, your salesperson will assess where you are in your knowledge of electronics and speak to you accordingly so that you can buy-in to why this product is the one for you.  He will never get the sale if he speaks to you in the same manner that he speaks to his geekish friends, because he wants the sale! He knows instinctively that if you confuse the customer or make them feel stupid that there’s no way they will buy from you. They will save face, pretend to know what you are talking about, turn, and walk out the door with their dignity intact.

Mar 232011
 
Woman looking and listening

There are moments when we are in the heat of a discussion and tempers flare, that the art of listening slides to the rear of our minds.  Emotions boil up, over and out, carrying acid thoughts and accusations.

When listening ends, we take to heart only what we EXPECT to hear, not what is actually being said, and in an effort to counteract those expectations, the temptation to attack verbally before we are wounded further overtakes us.