what is your challenge

A good friend asked me that question this week.

I answered, “helping provide people with simple clear next steps.”

The question came as I was thinking about what I need to do for and with people around me. The question came as I was thinking about what our church community could do. The question came early in the morning before I could figure out what I was really thinking.

But my answer was pretty accurate for what I think would be helpful. Rather than constantly telling, constantly broadcasting, constantly selling, constantly talking about whatever, what if I spent time listening to people and then helping them identify the one next step for them to take, the one part of the process to implement, the one phone call to make, the one relationship to start?

I am good at providing a firehose, at giving the plans for the whole house, at writing the whole story. And sometimes that’s good.

But I bet that if I could tell you clearly and simply the next thing to do and then let you wrestle with the risk and the challenge and the consequences…while sitting quietly with you…that you might find that helpful.

Particularly if the next words were simple, “follow me.”

I mean, it worked in the past.


4 responses to “what is your challenge

  1. Thanks for this. The listening part is the most powerful tool and the greatest gift we can give go someone. People need someone to listen even more than they need direction. And when you listen, the next steps, the follow me, just naturally happens.

  2. Listening creates an open space in which possibilities – such as that one clear next step you mention – can emerge.

    I struggle to leave this space open and listen to others.

    What surprises me, however, is how uncomfortable people can become when you allow them to be. What shall they be?

    An open space may simply seem empty. Realize that, and the next step may become clear.

    Alternatively, one may call for the firehose.

  3. i am trying to consider shifting my lens
    the challenge is always me focused
    my challenge is get through the day intact
    if i survive they survive
    and if it’s a good day i open that up

    but maybe my life would be better
    if instead of thinking of mine
    i considered a challenge of others
    even if that is just the “others” of my family

    the lens is on me
    and maybe that’s part of the problem right there

    holy moly

  4. thank you for listening. 🙂

    I am constantly amazed how often I don’t listen to hearts.

    But then to be willing, carefully, cautiously, to suggest, clearly and simply.

    intact is good, kat.
    sometimes it comes *through* others.