The Art of Listening

As a culture, we have forgotten how to listen well. With all the noise, interruptions, and activity the art of listening is being lost. To lead well we must listen well. Listening creates connection and understanding which is necessary to lead others.

listening-well

This post is being written from personal experience. I have found myself guilty of poor listening more often then I’d like to admit. See if you can relate to one of the following situations that have happened to me:

If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on it, I would use the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.

Albert Einstein

Can’t Stand Your Boss?

5 strategies for dealing with a difficult boss.

Do you like your boss? Are you thinking about quitting your job because of your boss? According to Gallup, 50% of people in the United States have quit their job at some point in their career to get away from their boss. What do we do when we work for a difficult boss?

difficultboss

The Harvard Business Review recently wrote a great article titled “Do You Hate Your Boss?” They lay out steps you should take if you work for a difficult boss. As Christians, we have a unique view of the world and work. While HBR’s article outlines some great steps, they left some out that we should pursue as people of faith. Here are my suggestions on what to do when you can’t stand your boss.

Video: The Need For Control

Over the last two weeks, I spoke at Life Church about our need for control. We try to control the people or the circumstances around us. Many of the things we try to control are not ours to control. When our efforts fail, it leads us into a cycle of fear: the more we try to control something, the more afraid we are of losing control. The more afraid we are of losing control, the more we try to control something.

control

A few key points:

  • When we get impatient with God we often will step over God’s promises in an attempt to make something happen.
  • Many of the things we try to control really aren’t worth our concern. Will we even remember the situation a month from now?
  • Surrendering control is not the same thing as relinquishing responsibility.
  • Anxiety, worry, and fear are warning signs that we’re trying to control something that is not ours to control.
  • When we surrender control of that which we want most, we will see the miraculous provision of God in our life.
  • Key scriptures: Proverbs 3:5-6, Genesis 16:1-4, Philippians 4:6-7

Watch the entire message below:

Practicing an Attitude of Gratitude

 

rock-gratitude

Life can be hard. Perhaps you’ve had a hard week, month or even year. Maybe right now you’re overwhelmed, stressed or moving from one crisis to another. So often we can be overwhelmed by life. However, gratitude, or being thankful, can help bring context and a fuller perspective to our lives. Gratitude is a counterbalance to stress and worry. Gratitude reminds us that even in the midst of difficulties and storms in life, that there is good and we have much to be thankful for. Gratitude helps us refocus on what is truly important in our lives.

Thanksgiving is a good time of the year to remind us of the power of gratitude. However, don’t fall in the trap of just being thankful once a year. Gratitude is a powerful force in our life any time of the year! So how do we get better at being grateful and being reminded of what is most important?

4 Types of Input To Seek Out In Major Decisions

I’m in the midst of some major transitions in my life. I’ve learned the value of having the input of others when I go through these types of changes. No individual can see themselves and their own life clearly. We all have blind spots and things around us that we sometimes miss. We need others to help us sort out fact from fiction, truth in the midst of emotions, and determine the best path forward.

4-types-of-input-to-seek-life-is-better-together

However, we don’t want to just take anyone’s input. We also all have people around us that don’t have our best interest at mind. We have people that are immature and lack wisdom. Those are people you do NOT want to listen to. Here are four types of people you DO want to listen to.

How To Make Major Life Decissions

And Avoid The Pain Of Making A Bad Choice

I made a mistake. Over the last year I’ve been in the midst of some major life transitions. What started as a dream over a year ago has now become my new reality. We are very excited for what’s ahead and the direction we’re going. However, there was a point a few months ago where I made a poor choice and it caused me some pain. I want to share a portion of our journey and four ways to avoid the pain I went through.

Major Life Decision pic

You can read about our transition and my primary career change here. Recently there came a point where I had multiple opportunities in front of me.

3 Strategies To Battle Burnout and Exhaustion

What recharges you?

We live in a time of constant interruptions, instant communication, and never ending demands. Everyone needs something from you: your work, your family, your friends, your pets, AND you have a long list of things that you should be doing. How do you do keep up with it all without burning out?

Overworked business man.

I’ve spent the last 10 years in a full-time ministry role at Life Church before becoming a Leadership Coach at DuLead. People in ministry face a unique challenge as the demands on them never end. People don’t plan and can’t control when there’s a crisis, someone get sick, or a funeral needs to be performed. Some of life’s biggest crises include a phone call to their pastor. While I’ve loved my role and the way I’ve been able to serve others it’s also forced me to learn how to live in such a way that I don’t burnout and my family doesn’t suffer.