If we’re honest, we all have someone in our ministry that we just don’t quite “gel” with. The hard truth is that you have to decide if it’s them or you being difficult. Ouch! I can tell you, many times I unfortunately found it was me. Not on purpose, mind you. But sometimes, in an attempt to prove that “I’m perfectly capable of doing this myself,” I built a lot of walls that I later regretted. Pride often gets in the way and often comes before a fall!
Don’t let that happen to you. Be a wrecking ball! Be the one who tears down the walls or maybe even prevents them from going up in the first place. Here are a few suggestions to help get the demolition started!
- Pray. Yes, for them, always! It’s hard to remain angry with someone as you pray for them. But don’t forget to pray for yourself, too. Pray that God will help you see how you’re contributing to the situation. Pray that He’ll help you see the other person through His eyes. Pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you through the situation.
- Don’t blame. In fact, take responsibility — sometimes even when it’s not your fault. Especially if this is a team member. Don’t throw people under the bus. Ultimately, the buck really does stop with you.
- Don’t gossip. Don’t listen to it. Don’t participate in it. A good rule of thumb is that you only speak about a situation with the other person involved or with someone who can help make a change.
- Listen. Listen. Listen. Not to formulate your reply, but to really hear what the other person is saying.
- Humble yourself. Ask their advice. You don’t have to be the expert on everything. And, when it’s your fault, apologize.
- Forgive. And, although we’re human and it’s hard to do, forget the past. Don’t get mired down in what’s happened.
- Smile and move forward. Remember, you can’t fix them. You can only fix you and your attitude.
I hope these words are helpful to you as you move toward better relationships with team members, staff, and maybe even family and friends.