Tuesday, January 10, 2006

"Help me to understand why you're an idiot."

We had our monthly staff meeting today and there were two things that Cal (our sr. pastor) highlighted in his monthly talk that I thought were important. 1. Proverbs 19:11 "It is to [a person's] glory to overlook an offense." Have you noticed how easily offended people are today. Mascots are offensive, titles are offensive, even pronouns are offensive to some. But the idea from proverbs, is that if we are going to be wise people, then we should be people who don't get offended easily -- that most things roll off our back. Obviously this doesn't mean to ignore all sleights and to stuff your feelings, what it DOES mean (I think) is that as I grow closer to Jesus, and find my significance in Him, I begin to FEEL less offended. 2. Cal gave us 7 phrases the help in the process of dealing with interpersonal conflict. I think these are great phrases that "de-escalate" situations that can be full of tension: (my explanations are in paranthesis.) 1. "Help me to understand..." (avoids getting people defensive -- acknowledges that you might not be right either) 2. "Can I push back a little on that idea?" (seeks permission to disagree) 3. "I'm saying this with my umbrella of grace up." (It's very uncomfortable to say what I'm going to say, but I need to say it anyway...please be gracious with me.) 4. "I feel like there's and elephant in the room." (There something obvious that we're not talking about, because it make make us feel uncomfortable.) 5. "Can we get on the solution-side of this problem?" (Let's stop assigning blame and figure out how to make it better.) 6. "Can I tell you the last 10%?" (Often the final 10% is the hardest part to say.) 7. "Are we good?" (Relationally, are you and I alright? - This one comes after the situation.)

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