Tag: Listen

Resolving Conflict

The challenges associated with conflict run deep and the resolutions do not come quickly. When conflict arises, what can we do?

1) Embrace the conflict. Conflict allows us the opportunity to learn from and grow through it.
2) Develop consistency. Hypocrisy is destructive, thus a consistent approach is the best start.
3) Listen to all sides. There are at least two sides to every story. Listen completely to both.
4) Respond quickly. Waiting to address conflict produces bitter and incorrect feelings.
5) Invite collective wisdom. Ask others who have faced similar conflict and learn.

This is not an exhaustive list, but with a good start we can find resolution more quickly.

Be The Rainbow

Without exception, we all experience days that are unpleasant. These days can be clouded by the challenges of life, e.g. family problems, health issues, financial struggles, relational matters, etc.

Maya Angelou once said, “Try to be a rainbow in someone’s cloud.”

We should all want to follow such leaders and, better yet, emulate them.

Learn to smile more. A friendly smile can make all the difference in someone’s day.

Genuinely ask about someone’s day. People need to know someone cares.

Learn to listen to the words, tone of voice, and body language. Listen with our ears, eyes, and heart.

Try, Listen, Think, Wait, Forgive

One of my favorite quotes has no known author, ”Before you quit, try. Before you talk, listen. Before you react, think. Before you criticize, wait. Before you move on, forgive.”

These five suggestions are powerful.

Do we quit before we really give it a try?
Do we dominate the conversation without really listening?
Do we react, only to think later that we should have thought it through?
Do we jump to conclusions and criticize others?
Do we move on, but carry a grudge?

More could be said, but when we follow each of these suggestions, our lives and the lives of others will be richer.

Dealing Out Hope…

After spending several hours contacting numerous shelters to find housing for someone in need, an overwhelming realization of the hopeless condition among our population was apparent.

A compassionate heart quickly recognizes how people can feel so hopeless. A number of explanations may be given as to the cause, but the need for leaders is to provide hope. Napoleon is credited with saying, “leaders are dealers in hope.”

Leaders extend hope by learning to listen and express concern.

Leaders need to offer hope that someone is trustworthy.

Leaders possess a responsibility to demonstrate care by action.

People follow leaders who provide hope.

God’s Word and Leaders…

Psalm 119 emphasizes God’s word and expresses a lesson for leaders.

The Psalmist asks, “How can a young man keep his way pure? By keeping it according to Your Word.”

The remainder of the text shares thoughts on how we fulfill this statement.

Seek God – With all my heart I have sought you.
Value His word – Your word I have treasured in my heart.
Speak His word – With my lips I have told of all the ordinances of Your mouth.
Find joy in His word – I rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies.
Give deep thought to His word – I will meditate on Your precepts and regard your ways.
Remember His word – I shall not forget your word.

Listen, learn, and apply.

Listen, Think, Speak…

Solomon wrote that a word spoken in the right circumstances was “like apples of gold in settings of silver.”

Few principles carry more weight in leadership than this one.

The challenge is how to develop this ability. 

1) Actively listen. A key attribute for learning what to say at the right time is to listen. There are times silence speaks more to the need than words.

2) Think before speaking. The tendency is to speak as soon as the thought crosses our mind. Relationships are often destroyed when we speak too quickly.

These two suggestions provide a foundation to speak the right words in the right circumstance.

Attentive Listening…

David often pleaded with God to listen to him. He desired an audience with God and wanted Him to listen intently and take action.

Communicating with God is significant to leaders for a couple of reasons.

First, leaders understand the need to communicate with the One who is in control of all things. To have an audience with God yields the greatest power in every situation. 

Second, leaders must understand the need for effective communication with others. Followers want to know their voice is heard, that leaders are attentive and will take action. 

When leaders communicate effectively, issues are resolved more quickly and progress results.

Genuine Interest…

Leaders must have a genuine interest in others, which is often easier said than done, because we tend to have more interest in some than others. We are aware of emotional vampires, individuals who suck time and energy out of our existence.

A genuine interest in others requires a few key components.

Ability to listen. We must listen with our ears, but also our eyes and heart.
Eye contact. Without eye contact, we communicate a lack of interest.
Appropriate questions. Appropriate questions show care about the lives of others. 

Consider these few steps toward an effective leadership.

Finding Answers for Leadership…

Trials are part of life. Fear, anxiety, and frustration take control quickly. People seek answers.

When adversity occurs, or questions arise, where do leaders go to find answers?

Leaders provide guidance, direction, encouragement, support, and answers to help others overcome their fears, anxiety, and frustration. Where do leaders find these answers?

Prayer is a good place to start.
Spend time listening to God’s word. 
Counsel the wisdom of others.
Learn the value of trust.
Admit mistakes that occur.
Never miss an opportunity to learn. 

The more prepared we are for the questions plaguing others, the stronger our leadership becomes.

Life, the Great Teacher…

Life is an amazing teacher. Sadly, these lessons tend to be the hardest and most life changing. An old Cherokee saying claims, “Everything in life comes to you as a teacher. Pay attention. Learn quickly.”

Do we pay attention and learn from what life teaches?

If we only had a method to help us remember from the mistakes so we do not repeat them and use the success we experience to duplicate it. 

Every event, every person, and every second of every day is a classroom that teaches and prepares us for greater leadership. Our job is to pay attention and learn quickly.

The better student we are the more success we experience as leaders.