Editing My Leadership

LL & Andrea hands

"Don't worry, it's going to be okay," I typed.

I read it over, suddenly remembering Henry Cloud's warnings against invalidating people's feelings.

[delete, delete, delete]

"I'm sorry you're feeling frustrated. It must be hard," I typed instead. Then I shared how sometimes I've been frustrated too, especially because of my own frailties and shortcomings. Ensuing conversations focused on what might be done to ease things, in time.

Did it help? I'm not sure. Cloud says that, in addition to being good listeners (validaters), we need to have a balance of...

1. strength
2. "likeness" to others (willingness to say, "I struggle with this too")
3. warmth
4. imperfection that copes

It sounds so simple on paper. Listen, don't invalidate. Be strong, yet vulnerable. Be authentic and imperfect, yet cope and be a person of effective solutions. Don't use force (even verbal force) as a means to change situations; just be competent.

All of this seems to require a lot of trust that things really WILL be okay if we strike the right kind of balance in our interactions. We just need to sit with the discomfort of not having immediately fixed others or ourselves. Which sounds, to me, like a kind of... faith.

Hands photo by L.L. Barkat.

Integrity, opening post
Being Nice is Not Enough
Can I Do You a Favor?

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Blogger Kelly Sauer said...

I RT-ed this before I read it. This is how much I trust what you write.

But I am so glad I did read it. I have been thinking about this, about my desire for a personality change (I talk too much, listen too little)... This is good.

I am glad I am not the only one who contemplates these things. Thank you for sharing.

2:53 PM  
Blogger L.L. Barkat said...

Ah, yes. We who are gifted with words. :) As I have sought to change, I realize the effort has also focused on words-- listening to the nuances in others' words, the unique and delightful patterns, the person-rhythm behind them.

Thanks for trusting my writing! :)

3:07 PM  
Anonymous Cheryl Smith said...

This convicts me that I most need to practice my leadership at home, with my kids.

11:22 AM  
Blogger Joelle said...

Mmmm. How often do I catch myself trying to make the "bad" feelings go away, in actuality invalidating the other person. Trying to learn that balance you speak of. Not easy steps to that dance. But, I think, terribly important. To be with someone in their suffering and honor the pain while also, somehow, offering hope.

1:02 PM  
Blogger Ted M. Gossard said...

Good thoughts here. In my factory work mayhem, with all the loudness and pressure, etc., I can resort to verbal means for changing things. Tough. But is it in the way of Jesus is my question? And that's a big one, along with what you cite here, L.L. In fact this sounds very Jesus-like to me.

7:06 AM  
Blogger Kathleen Overby said...

Love and truth. Truth in Love - Loving People - Like a title of another one of their books. Go for it! :)

1:04 PM  

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