As we explore the word Pursue through an acrostic these first few months, I trust that each of us will be challenged to pursue a deeper relationship with Jesus. In February, we shared on being a “Purposeful Leader.” This month we will discuss being an “Understanding Leader.”
Here are some thoughts to consider in being an understanding leader.
- What are some of the needs people have?
- Why should we as leaders try to understand the needs of others?
- How can I as a leader best understand the needs of others?
When thinking about this topic I wanted to think through some of the needs that I have heard people express to me recently.
- A need to have someone who will listen to them and not be thinking of how to fix them as they are talking.
- A need to know how to balance friendships in ministry.
- A need to know how to use money wisely; they are always struggling with finances.
- A need to know how to reach their friend who is struggling with self-image.
- A need to know what to say when they are feeling criticized.
- A need to know how to minister to someone who is sick.
- A need to know how to run their first women’s event.
There are a variety of needs that we hear often, but how do we respond? One thing we need to do is listen and understand what the person we are interacting with wants from us as a leader or as a friend. Are they needing appreciation, understanding, or personal care? These are three things that people are often looking for when they share with us.
Understanding: Being sympathetically aware of other’s feelings, tolerant and forgiving. When someone comes to share something with us, they are looking for someone they can trust, someone they know will be kind, that won’t over-react. They are looking for someone with some insight or good judgment.
When someone comes to you make sure you keep their confidence. Do not share their conversation with you without their permission. As a pastor’s wife I realized how people would take information and turn it into a prayer request. This is not okay, if you have not been given permission to share it.
Be available but be wise with your time. Setting times when you are going to meet with people is important. Give a start time and an ending time. Look at your schedule and decide whether you need to do a phone call or a coffee time. Either way, time parameters are essential. If needed, set up another time to meet as a follow up.
A great way to interact with someone is not give them your “fix it” answer but ask questions so they can resolve situations themselves. If you give advice and it doesn’t work, you get the blame. When you help them come to the conclusion, they are responsible for the decision. Be wise with your words. They need you to understand and hear them. Always end in prayer. Ask “May I pray with you about this situation?’ Very seldom does someone say no.
I pray that these thoughts will be of encouragement to you.
Have a blessed March.
Please consider having your church groups assist with raising funds for these outreaches to women. If every church helps, we can accomplish so much more. Together we are better.