Still struggle with that? Try empathizing with your opponents.
You may want to dismiss them, discount them, counter them or even belittle them (on bad days). Don’t.
Instead of beginning a conversation by stating your differences, why not begin by emphasizing what you both agree on and trying to understand why your “opponent” is upset? For example, instead of saying:
Josh, you and I completely disagree and I’m not sure there’s anything we can do about it. I just can’t see it your way and you can’t see it my way.
Why not say something like this:
Josh, I’m grateful we share a commitment to Christ as our Lord. And I’m thankful for what you’re doing to help us advance our mission. I sense you’re upset with the direction we’re heading in. I just want you to know I understand that, and I hope we can discuss our differences.
Do you hear the difference? I think if you or I were on the other side of the changes in an organization, we’d want a leader to approach us with the second attitude, not the first.
When you show empathy, you help people understand that they were heard. And that’s huge. Sometimes that’s all people want.
You may discover that after being heard, some (not all) opponents will change their minds and even support the proposal at hand. That’s the power of empathy.
THE INTERIOR JOURNEY OF A LEADER IS THE HARDEST JOURNEY, ISN’T IT?
Of all the journey a leader takes, the interior journey is the most arduous.
My new book Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That Nobody Expects and Everyone Experiences can help.
Didn’t See It Coming tackles the seven core issues that take people out: cynicism, compromise, disconnectedness, irrelevance, pride, burnout and the emptiness of success, and provides strategies on how to combat each.
Why did I write it? Well, no idealistic 18-year-old sets out to be cynical, jaded and disconnected by age 35, yet it happens all the time. The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way.
I would love nothing more than to see you thrive in life and leadership. That’s what Didn’t See It Coming is all about.
EXCLUSIVE, TIME-LIMITED PRE-ORDER OFFERS
You can pre-order your copy now (hardcover, Kindle or AudioBook narrated by me).
For a limited time, you can get pre-order bonuses for anyone by ordering the book now, before release.
Everyone who preorders a copy gets:
- Free access to Session One of my High Impact Leader Course (video and workbook…a $30 value).
- 7 Lock screen graphics for your smartphone (a $10 value).
- Access to an exclusive live webinar with my wife, Toni, and I on staying (happily) married while navigating life’s seven greatest challenges (we’ll give you the honest backstory to our leadership journey…you may find it familiar). (A $110 value.)
Order 10 copies or more and you’ll get all the above plus ONE of my courses for free. (An over $300 value.)
Order 100 copies or more and you’ll get all of the above and ALL my courses for free (an over $1100 value). (Seriously…100 copies? Well, many of the people who read the advance copies said they want to take their entire team/church through the book. So we’ve arranged bulk discounts AND bonuses.)
You can learn more and get your bonuses here.
ANY OTHER TEMPTATIONS?
Well, there are more than just five temptations pastors and church leaders face.
What are some others you’ve encountered?
How have you battled them?