Relationship – face to face

Here I am sitting in a coffee house in the city I have been working in for more than ten years, writing a blog about something I am passionate about.

This coffee shop is a nice place, no smoking, good music and great staff. There is a sense of a positive attitude going through it all, and I love sitting here observing people going by.

In any team or group of people you will have differences, and that is the team’s largest strength. Different giftings, abilities and personalities are all qualities that bring greatness to any team. Some see the big picture, some see details, some love people and some love tasks. These differences, led well, bring synergy and positivity, they bring growth and life.

How beautiful to be a part of this kind of team and group, though many people also see this as challenging – and yes, it is. I think we need to be real and say good leadership brings the best out of people and creates room for differences.

I often tell leadership teams in churches and Mission, don’t speak about people, their issues will be yours tomorrow, because if there is something I am learning it is that things are always coming back around to you and me.
Leaders lead, that is a highly action oriented thing, though I think you go far with good talks and a cup of coffee. Leaders get involved in people and love them enough to be able to lead them. They keep the focus on the task as well, but true leadership is relationship oriented.

What if the member or staff that you think has most problems, issues and attitude is the one with the most unreleased potential?

This is a humbling thought but well worth to ponder about. What if the member or staff that you think has most problems, issues and attitude is the one with the most unreleased potential?

I think leadership starts here and it gifts us a way to work. What do I need to do to release this potential? What needs to change in structure and what initiative do I need to take to build a bridge to that person?

I love thinking this way. I have seen leaders making their staff their worst enemy and too many leadership meetings are concentrated around some silly issues that, with one or two cups of coffee together with that person, would not have been on the table at all.

But if we start with ourselves and consider others with greater or more potential than ourselves, we can get the best out of people and still lead in a humble way. We will be focused on releasing people around us.

Personally I love working with those that others might consider ‘problem people’. They may speak words that can hit hard or be looked at as negative, but look behind all of that and see the potential, that gives me a lot of energy. Does work all the time? No, it doesn’t. Some people need a lot of work, but if we always focus on their strength and don’t build a case of ‘us against them’, we can go far.

Some tips for working with trouble makers..

Always work on the relationship. It has to be done 99% of the time face to face

Always work on the relationship. It has to be done 99% of the time face to face. Coffee, talks and more coffee 🙂 Look for the good and affirm it, you as a leader are to cheer on your people.

Pay the price, sometimes to be able to speak to people, you need to travel to meet with them. Take time out of your schedule, but if you want to build people you need to spend time with them and remember the unreleased potential.

Don’t be a controlling and manipulating leader, but one that believes in people and find ways forward without the need to be in control. Control blocks dialogue and without dialogue there is no releasing of people.

If social media or e-mail needs to be used then be careful. E-mail is for information, not for addressing things you would like to see change or to confront. It is just a tool for information and can’t replace face to face and human interaction.

Skype and FaceTime are great tools but only when used correctly. Remember simple things like having the camera on, face to face. It will never take away the interaction people need to have with humans. It can work if your relationship is so strong and the tank of trust is full. If not there is too much distance.

You to you….it is always you as a leader that looks people in the eyes. Don’t try telling them that you see potential in them so that they do things for you. It is manipulating and you will not build trust and brings force, not release.

Wisdom in leadership is always to see people eye to eye, face to face, feel their life, be close to them.

That is what I call coffee cup leadership.
Till next time, go have coffee with someone,

Rune Sæther

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