There's a great proverb of Solomon that says, "A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent person overlooks an insult." As I was reading about being quick to listen and slow to speak this proverb seemed to go hand-in-hand. Why is it that for so many of us, me included, the natural tendency is to show our annoyance and anger? Stress? Lack of sleep? Lack of self-discipline? It's the way we saw things handled growing up? Whatever the reason, we know it doesn't produce the results we're actually looking for. Sure, we may temporarily feel better by lashing out, but then we've got to do damage control. I don't know about you, but I've had to do some damage control over the 40+ years of my life and it never gets any easier. I'd like to avoid that path, how about you?
When I dig a little deeper into the proverb and being quick to listen and slow to speak it admonishes me to understand that by doing this I'm increasing empathy toward others. Empathy is good. I like when I receive empathy from others. It's reassuring, healing, even comforting. So why wouldn't I want to give more of that away? It's a daily choice. It's a choice I need to make in every relationship. I have a feeling the more I give it away, the more I am likely to receive.
This concept of being quick to listen and slow to speak is a big part of Step 2 in the Friendship Fixer program and will be a focus area for our second book (coming soon!). If we as adults sometimes struggle to offer more empathy in our relationships through listening, how must kids be handling this? I'm convicted and inspired to be a solid role model for them and to keep bringing these important messages to them in engaging and creative ways so they have the tools they need in their "backpack of life skills" for healthy relationships. Will you join me? Please feel free to share your thoughts.
I would rather have one rose and a kind word from a friend while I'm here than a whole truck load when I'm gone. Happiness keeps you sweet, trials keep you strong, sorrows keep you human, failures keep you humble, success keeps you glowing, but ... only friends keep you going! (Anonymous)
I appreciate how this highlights the power and importance of friends and relationships. They are a refuge in life's everyday battles and have a way of bringing us perspective we might not otherwise have. During this season of my life with family and multiple jobs I know I have not paid enough attention to my friends. I don't want to have regrets about that so I know it's time to do something different. What are ways you prioritize your friendships amongst the demands of life? Share your comments below.
"Knowing how to resolve conflicts and unify people contributes to winning in business and leadership. The ability to bring people together through a common language like conflict resolution skills builds a culture of excellence." -Dave Ramsey, EntreLeadership
Who doesn't want to win in business these days? With so many tips and techniques, methods and models, it's easy to get lost in knowing what creates effective leadership. Let me simplify: it's people skills. The ability to navigate people issues with savvy while passing along valuable learning and skills is something seen in every great leader. So, how are your people skills? More importantly, how are your conflict resolution skills?
You see, people and problems tend to go together. We don't set out to have it that way (ok, most people don't anyway), but it happens. Since most adults lack the basic conflict resolution skills necessary to navigate today's world, consequently, so does the next generation. If adults are not prioritizing the learning and honing of these skills, how are they going to be able to effectively pass them on to the next generation? The old cliche that "someone else will do it" still teases most of us into thinking it's true.
It's time to change that. Leadership gaps will always exist but that's no excuse not to step up and do something better. Let's grab hold of the value of healthy relational skills ... not only in our adult lives, but also to be able to put something truly useful into the backpacks of the next generation. Check out www.friendshipfixer.com for more information today!
Wife, mother, sister, daughter, friend, lover of dark chocolate and books, the beach, healthy living, meaningful education, and of course, friendship.