Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity. Proverbs 20:28 (The Message)
As I mentioned in my last blog, I’m participating in a two-year leadership program at my church. Part of leadership is the ability to receive and deliver feedback in a constructive and encouraging manner so that all parties are able to move forward in the best possible way. Feedback has always been difficult for me because I tend to hear it through the lens of criticism.
If you reject discipline, you only harm yourself; but if you listen to correction, you grow in understanding. Proverbs 15:32 (NLT)
A couple of weeks ago I emailed a leadership and character review to a number of people I’ve worked with in a variety of roles and positions. 24 people took the time to offer me feedback.
I learned so much from the specific information in the survey. I’ve taken the time to go through all of the comments and have focused in on a few areas that need to be addressed. Beyond the specifics, I also learned a few things about myself and others just by going through this process.
I commented in my last post about how I basically completed the survey for myself, specifically highlighting the worst about myself so that nothing would surprise me.
What I learned about myself is that I’m my own worst critic.
For the most part, no one mentioned the things I said about myself at my worst. Only 1% of people rated me lower than I rated myself. Either I’m a really good actress, which I’m not, or I’m not responding or performing as poorly as I think I am as often as I think I do.
It’s important to be able to take an honest look at yourself and the actions and attitudes that make relationships and work environments difficult. It’s also important to remember what you do well and how you contribute to the overall purpose and mission of whatever group you’re part of.
While I’m not sure I like the idea of others being my worst critics, I know I’m way too hard on myself and need to focus on what’s true, good and right about myself. I’ve come up with a game plan to help shed some light on what I tend to keep in the dark. Here are a few things I hope to do going forward:
- Cut myself some slack.
I’m not perfect now and I’m not going to be later. I’m a work in progress and it’s a process I can trust because God has promised to complete it.
- Concentrate more on the solution than the problem.
I can’t undo what’s been done, but I can acknowledge what should be done going forward. God’s mercies are new every morning and in each moment we can decide to do it differently. When I realize there’s a problem, the wise thing to do is address the problem, make a decision and let that be where my mind focuses.
- Confess quickly.
When something does go wrong or not as intended, be willing to acknowledge the problem, accept responsibility as needed, ask for and offer forgiveness to both others involved as well as myself. The longer I hold onto things, the more ammunition I have against myself. God forgives quickly when we confess and repent and doesn’t hold anything against us. The sooner we can get the junk out of us, the sooner God can grow something beautiful in us.
Something to Consider…
How do you see yourself? Are you fair with yourself or do you let your own expectations weigh you down? Do you need to cut yourself some slack understanding that you are still growing and learning?
Do you tend to focus more on what’s gone wrong and how you messed up all the while looking back and feeling stuck or do you concentrate more on what’s good, right, lovely and true while moving forward?
Are you able to acknowledge problems quickly and let go or do you need to bring some issues out into the light so you can be free of the hold they have on you?
God’s heart for you is good. Let Him have room in you to move: growing, changing and transforming you into the person He created you to be. Learn to enjoy the process He has started.