what’s the goal?

From time to time, I like to have people over for dinner & to make a nice meal.  My goal is to have some nice fellowship time, to relax and enjoy their company.  My goal isn’t to impress them with any cooking skill – if I was doing that, we’d probably need to take them to a nice restaurant.  I’m not trying to present a pristine house that is as well kept as a museum or mausoleum.  I’m also not trying to make my family seem like they’re people different than who they really are.  My goal is simply to have some great fellowship & hopefully the food won’t be a disastrous distraction 🙂

Sometimes in life, I have to be careful to think about my goals & I find that I ask myself some important questions from time to time:

  • what is my motivation?  Am I behaving based on an insecurity or a false perception?
  • what do I really want?  Image can sometimes be an elusive adventure into empty froth
  • what is God saying in the midst of all of this?  Am I pursuing the results of God’s presence or Their actual presence?

I like it in 2 Cor 5:9 where Paul says that he makes it his goal to please Christ – sounds like a noble & good goal to me 🙂

lessons from intense conversations

 Yesterday, I had several very intense conversations on a variety of topics.  Why they all compiled onto one day, I don’t know.  But thankfully, they all turned out very constructively. Here are a few things I learned from these discussions:

  • be clear: about what the issues are:  make sure that everyone involved knows what is being discussed
  • keep the main point, the main point:  avoid rabbit trails – take each issue & work on it until its resolved as best as possible
  • avoid emotional escalation:  it’s ok to feel strongly about something, but be careful that your emotions don’t become the central concern of the discussion
  • timing:  rather than rush into a discussion, wait for the right timing – let God give you the green light for the conversation
  • listen carefully: to what the other person is saying, even repeating back in your own words what you think has been said;  this lets the other person know that you’re paying attention & want to understand their point of view
  • focus:  keep your eyes on God as your source of value, significance & direction

My conversations turned out super well – having these kinds of discussions are vital not only for their resolution, but more importantly, for our maturation.  Grow well my friend 😀

ever had any challenges with communication???

 We have had access to massive communication improvements over the past few decades.  If you think about it, did you ever pull the phone cord out of the wall?  In the ’80s, a tweet  would have been “twit” mis-pronounced.  And my idea of “wifi” in the ’70s was more like “hi-fi” in our house with speakers in every room so I could play records throughout the house at maximum volume.  Communication has certainly improved, but we can all stand to make some improvements in our inter-personal communication, especially as it relates to conflict 🙂

Here are some tips that you might find useful in resolving conflict:

  • Understand the issue:  get on the same page about what you’re discussing because often the center of the conflict comes from not discussing the same content
  • Separate what was said from what was heard  (that’s not what I said, but that’s what was heard)
  • Consider the emotions & expectations associated w the conversation – these items can make communication hazy & ineffective if they’re not identified
  • Be patient & listen without asserting your opinion
  • Own your part of the communication challenge – blame sabotages communications & does nothing constructive
  • Be clear by removing subtleties, nuances & emotional telepathy;  these efforts will only leave you frustrated