Friday, October 17, 2014
Creating Space for Others to Develop Their Own Convictions
It is difficult, but important, to resist the urge to expect others to be where you are without allowing them to go through the same process you went through to get there.
Does that make sense?
This is a big growth area for me. I am a teacher, I have Bohemian interests, and when I get passionate about something, though the passion may not last, it comes on/across heavy and strong. What that means is I change interests often, tell others about them with conviction while I have it, and expect everyone else to get on board immediately. Of course this is a recipe for confusion and trouble, especially for the people closet to me.
What I too often forget is I didn't always feel the way I feel now. And therefore it would be wise of me to make space for other people to develop their own passions without trying to force mine upon them.
Would you agree that forcefulness is a terrible persuader of people?
Forcefulness might bring about compliance but it never brings about buy-in. This is true at work, in the home and in the church. What really does foster buy-in is when people see and experience something for themselves, and they consequently come to develop their own conclusions. This is when hearts and minds and opinions are changed. And when people of like minds come together.
It has always amazed me how people come to believe what they do. In looking back on my own life journey it is nearly impossible to see what exactly caused me to feel and act the way I do. Of course there are formative people, places and events, but there are very few moments when I simply "decided" to change my mind. Often it was a slow transformation, influenced by people with care and concern, who stuck with me and walked me through the transition. I have to remember this is marriage, parenthood and shepherding. And when all else seems lost I have to trust and remember that the hand of God is powerful to change the mind of man.