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Books for those in ministry organizations who desire to take their leadership, teams, governance, and ministry effectiveness to the next level.

28 Feb '13

Insecure leaders


Insecure leaders harm relationships which has a ripple affect down through the ministry. Thus the question becomes, can we increase our EQ (Emotional Intelligence) so that we grow and maintain healthy relationships and don't cause the relational chaos that so often occurs with insecure leaders.

Most people can grow in this area but it can take practice. Here are some suggestions.

Practice an open attitude toward those who criticize or suggest alternate options. You may not feel like having an open attitude but this can be learned. The key to being perceived as open (even if you don't feel like it) is to not react defensively or verbally to those who may disagree but rather to default to questions like, "help me understand," or "unpack that for me." What we are doing is communicating that we are open to dialogue rather than simply being closed.

Dialogue with those who would take an alternate route is one of the most important practices of anyone who has healthy EQ. Closed people tell, declare or clam up while open people dialogue, ask clarifying questions and keep the conversation going.

Dialogue should be combined with the practice of "thinking grey." When thinking grey we are open to options, opinions, opportunities and have not made up our minds. Insecure leaders don't think grey, they need their way or need to be seen to have an answer. Secure leaders are open to all input before they make up their minds.

Thinking grey allows one to learn the art of compromise. Here is the deal. None of us are all wise or right all the time. There is a reason that when God designed church leadership He designed it as a team of overseers or elders. Compromise is not a negative word. We don't compromise on moral issues but we learn to be flexible on other issues. Healthy leaders are flexible, they listen and they don't die on hills that they don't need to die on.

Flexibility is really about humility. Pride says, I must have my way. Humility says, it is not about me but about us. The longer I lead the more I realize that there is a whole lot I don't know and humility means that I am willing to bring others into decisions I make - especially those who might not agree with me. It is easy to be "humble" with those who agree with us - not so easy with those who look at ministry differently.

One can see how these practices build relationship where the alternative destroys relationships. Good practices in relationships build while poor practices destroy. How are you doing?