Teaming through Personality Differences

Let’s face it.  Every one of us has worked with people we don’t like, and, believe it or not, you may not be liked by some people. It’s really hard when the person we don’t like is on our team, and we have to work together on a project.  What can we do, in those situations, to continue to perform at our best?

  1. Learn to value people

All of us have value.  When we look around at a co-worker that we believe is not pulling their weight, we tend to dismiss everything they do as unimportant. Further, our feelings are exacerbated because we feed on our self-justification and dislike of the person to continue to tear down everything they do.   The hard reality is that they, too, have gifts and talents that are every bit as important to the company or projects as yours.  When we can truly find some value that they add, we can begin to look at them differently.

  1. Learn from them

Yes, you heard me.  They have something to offer – some skill that they do well where we lack.  First, learn to recognize it (go back to step 1 if you cannot recognize their strengths).  Once we can recognize and acknowledge their strengths, sit back for a moment or two and think about what you might be able to learn from them.  Often we get so caught up in being angry that they are not all we want them to be for us that we fail to see that we can actually learn from them.  Open your eyes and your mind.  The leader who is always learning from others, even from those who may frustrate them.  I challenge you to find at least one thing you might learn from them.

  1. Embrace Humility

It’s maddening to me that every time I strongly believe someone else needs to change all of the things that they are doing wrong, when I get to the place where I can truly look objectively at the situation, I often find that I’m the one who needed to make an adjustment.  I can honestly say, in hindsight of course, that this was the single largest realization that helped me in situations where I once was confident I couldn’t get along with someone because of the way they are.  It takes years to perfect this, and it certainly isn’t easy, but when we can make incremental improvements toward our goal, we become better people, better teammates, and ultimately better leaders.

  1. Learn to leverage the differences

You may have heard it said that if someone always has the same opinion as you, one of you isn’t needed.  Indeed it is true.  In my career, I have found that the most effective teams are not the ones where everyone agrees with the leader of the group, but the ones who are able to debate in a healthy way to arrive at the best solution for the situation.  When I’ve had the opportunity to build a team, I deliberately looked to fill the team with a blend of personality types across the Myers-Briggs spectrum.   In cases where we work with teams built by others, take the time to discover and consider how the differences in personality type can work together for the greater good of the organization.

Building a high potential team is fun and takes time and work. Don’t give up the dream of having an awesome team.

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life. All rights reserved

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My Everything

On Sunday evening, our church hosted a musical event – kind of a “talent show” of our musicians.  I was blessed to be able to accompany my twelve-year-old daughter, who sang a couple of songs.  One of them was a song that I had prayed at my keyboard nearly five years ago, the night before the funeral of an eleven-year-old boy.  I truly believe that God gave us music to help us pray.

Trent was a normal fifth-grade boy, doing normal fifth-grade boy things.  When he got sick with the flu, his mother took him to the doctor. They watched his symptoms for a few days, and they seemed to get worse instead of better before he was admitted to the hospital.  Both his mother and father are colleagues of mine, and I was shocked when Melissa told me that the doctors were concerned that Trent might not live.  I prayed hard, and believed that God would save this boy –  I mean, what perfectly healthy boy dies of the flu, right?

Sadly, Trent died a short time later.  I know that God is not obligated to answer our prayers the way we want Him to, and that He ultimately has a plan for all of our lives, but I will tell you this was a hard pill to swallow.  His parents were devastated.  Our co-workers were despondent.  I was crushed.

I sat at my keyboard, very, very late the night before the funeral and wept.  My heart was broken for them.  I knew that their lives would never be the same – that they would need each other more than ever, and that they would need God to get through.   I thought, too, about all of the other people who have experienced such loss and sadness, and how they, too, needed God to help them get through.

As I sat and played notes, eventually the notes turned into a tune, and words began to fill my mind.  The result was the song that we shared on Sunday.  I had played it instrumentally during communion several times, but it had never been sung.  When I asked my daughter if she would sing it for me, her willing heart immediately said, “yes”.  When we sat down to rehearse it for the first time, I handed her the words (no music, for I’ve never actually written it out), she sang it absolutely perfectly, as if she knew the tune already.  Dumbfounded, I asked her how she knew it.  She said, “I’ve heard you play it lots of times here in the house”.    Although that may be true, I never even told her it had words, yet she was able to hear the exact timing of every word as God had written them on my heart several years before.

My Everything

Sometimes the road seems empty

Sometimes the road seems long

I have to keep believing in what keeps us strong.

At times the path is crooked

At times the world is cruel

All I can do is hold on to Truth

You’re my everything…. My everything

You’re the strength that carries me when I can’t go on.

You’re my everything…. My everything

You’re love keeps me strong

When our hearts are heavy,

And we just don’t understand,

God still holds us firmly in the palm of His hand

When our hearts are troubled,

And everything seems wrong

He heals the brokenhearted and He brings a new song

He’s my everything…. my everything

He’s the strength that carries me when I can’t go on.

He’s my everything…. my everything

Gets me through night til dawn.

Holding on when I can’t let go, carrying me,

He breaks the chains that bind me and sets me free

Everything…. my everything

He’s the strength that carries me when I can’t go on.

He’s my everything…. my everything

His love keeps me strong.

 

This is the message  the book Masquerade attempts to share with its readers.  Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted, and He binds up their wounds” (NIV).  I cannot pretend to understand why God took Trent home.  I only know the experience in my own life is this: God will never waste a hurt.  He will use every tear and every sorrow to mold and shape us into who He wants us to be.

He’s my everything.

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018 Journey-For-Life – All rights reserved.

Love thy neighbor 

neighbor

It’s easy to love some neighbors. They have similar interests to our, and we connect well with them. When we bought our first home, the couple we bought it from had that relationship with their neighbors. Every night, they would visit each other for what they called “happy hour”. They would take turns waking through the woods to each others’ house, pour a gin and tonic, and visit for an hour or so. They invested time in each other’s families and were there when each needed.

What happens, though, when we have neighbors that we don’t connect with? Or worse, don’t get along with? You know the one.  The one that cuts his lawn at 7 am on your only day to sleep in. The one who seems almost antagonist toward you, and has threatened, or even sued you. The one whose children are disrespectful and make fun of your children. The one who bullies you. How do you love them?

Jesus said to Love our Enemies. Sounds easy on paper. But really?  does He really expect us to love the person who is trying their best to create problems for us.

I have found that when I begin to pray about something, it begins to change my heart. Even if my prayer is to change the other thing; the thing I’m praying about, I find that God uses that prayer to change me. I’d encourage you to begin praying FOR the person causing consternation in your life. In our humanness we often find this difficult, but it is freeing.

Praying for those who wish us harm is difficult. I will challenge you if you will challenge me to love those who are hard to love, that God would be glorified.

Blessings,

SB

Copyright 2018 Journey For Life All rights reserved

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Love ❤️ is….

As we embark on the Hallmark Holiday, Valentines Day, we are inundated with images of “love”; from hearts of chocolate to chocolate covered strawberries to roses, whose cost inflate during this month to the point you need a second mortgage on your home to afford, to diamonds and pearls. These images, coupled with television advertisements showing people in love, reaching for each other in idyllic images of love, leave people who don’t share these experiences feeling as if they are unloved and unlovable. The reality, however, is that love is not a feeling at all, but commitment.

When we were married, twenty two and a half years ago, part of our wedding vows included these words: “for better or worse, for richer and poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, so long as you both shall live”. So long as you both shall LIVE, not so long as you both shall LOVE. In the years following that vow, we have been tested, for sure; tested in health, tested in financial ways, tested in relational ways; yet we both acknowledge and hold firm to the vows we made to one another.

Sadly, this message is largely lost in our society today. Too often, we seek the “feeling” that love is, and as soon as the challenges come, we mistake the hardship for a lack of love, when, in fact, it is merely a lack of commitment to work together through the hardship.

During our hardships, I had Christian friends who encouraged me to leave, telling me that I was justified in leaving because God would not want me to be unhappy. I remember one friend, however, who had the courage to tell me that God would honor me for honoring my commitment.

By no means am I suggesting someone stay in an abusive relationship. What I am saying is that true love is not based on the flutter-feeling by you get when Love is young. In my experience, Love deepens over time as you choose to work together through difficult times. For our relationship to be successful, we had to put Christ at the center of it to anchor us and pull us towards Him and each other. If it weren’t for Christ, I don’t know where we’d be. I am very thankful that both of Ian honored the commitment we made so long ago.

I wish you many blessings Valentines Day this year.

SB

Love 131 I may be able to speak the languages of human beings and even of angels, but if I have no love, my speech is no more than a noisy gong or a clanging bell. 2 I may have the gift of inspired preaching; I may have all knowledge and understand all secrets; I may have all the faith needed to move mountains—but if I have no love, I am nothing. 3 I may give away everything I have, and even give up my body to be burned—but if I have no love, this does me no good.4 Love is patient and kind; it is not jealous or conceited or proud; 5 love is not ill-mannered or selfish or irritable; love does not keep a record of wrongs; 6 love is not happy with evil, but is happy with the truth. 7 Love never gives up; and its faith, hope, and patience never fail.8 Love is eternal. There are inspired messages, but they are temporary; there are gifts of speaking in strange tongues, but they will cease; there is knowledge, but it will pass. 9 For our gifts of knowledge and of inspired messages are only partial; 10 but when what is perfect comes, then what is partial will disappear.11 When I was a child, my speech, feelings, and thinking were all those of a child; now that I am an adult, I have no more use for childish ways. 12 What we see now is like a dim image in a mirror; then we shall see face-to-face. What I know now is only partial; then it will be complete—as complete as God’s knowledge of me.13 Meanwhile these three remain: faith, hope, and love; and the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13:-13 | GNT

Presence

In the stillness of the morning, before the world is awakened, I feel Your presence, Lord. Reflecting on answered prayer, and those still waiting, I praise You for all You’ve done. I thank you for who You are, and know that I am fully Yours. I pray that You will shape my will to what You want it to be; give me strength and courage to look for You in new ways, to show others who You are that they might seek and find what I have. Thank You for Your Presence.

Make good choices.. Love, Mom

After a brief text exchange with my college son last night regarding various recent events in his life, he replied, “I’m making good choices, mom”.

When our children are young, we make their choices for them, but as they begin to grow up, they need to begin making choices of their own so that we can help to teach them the difference between good choices and bad choices. We’ve all made bad choices, and so will they. It’s funny, though, how our perspective changes once we are the parent. The truth is, we don’t like to see our kids make choices hat we know will lead them through heartache because we know it will be painful. Worse yet, they could make a choice from which is hard (or impossible) to recover.

When the time comes for them to be completely independent (which, although sad in some ways, IS what we want for our children) I want them to be prepared to think through the consequences of all of their decisions. One method I have used is this admonition: MAKE GOOD CHOICES.

Life is all about choices. I have seen people make some very, very good choices in life, and I have seen people make some very, very bad choices. For every choice car we make, there are consequences. If we are forward thinking enough, we can think about what tho consequences might be given choice A or B, which may help guide us to the best choice. Ultimately I know my children will own their own choices, both big and small. Who to marry, field of employment, place to live, church to attend. I want to equip them with all of the tools to make the very best decisions. But how do we do that?

1. Teach them to think and seek advice from wise people.

The Bible is full of wise advice, as well as examples of good and bad choices. Life, too, is full of good and bad choices. It’s important to talk with our kids about choices we see others make, and point out alternate choices that could have been made to affect different outcomes. This process will help develop critical think skills essential in making good decisions.

Finding other people who can be trusted with choices is also important as we teach our children; people other than their parents who they can trust (face it, when our kids are working hard to prove their independence they may not seek our advice).

2. Let them fail. (This is hard)

This advice is hard to execute because we want our children to have everything better than we did. If we can teach them to own the consequences of their choices in the smaller, seemingly insignificant choices , they will be better equipped to own the big ones too. As we’re teaching them, it is important to refrain from the dreaded, “I told you so” responses that do nothing for building healthy relationships. Let them discover, on their own, consequences from negative choices. Again, this helps build their own decision making process.

3. Love them

Most importantly, continue to love them and keep open relationship, even if the choices they make are different than those you would have made. This step is particularly difficult if their choices are poor, but even more important in this case. Our kids have got to know they always have someone who will help them in time of need.

4. Model itWhether we like to admit or not, our kids follow our lead; the good as well as the bad. For this reason, it is equally important for us to model the lessons we are trying to teach. MAKE GOOD CHOICES.

copyright 2018 Journey-For-Life. All rights reserved

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The first step

The journey of 1000 miles begins with the first step.

No matter how long our journey, it always starts with the first step. The dreaded first step is always the hardest, especially when we believe that the journey will be a difficult one. If we never take the first step, though, we never start the journey. If we never start the journey, we miss out on much that the journey brings. True, the journey will bring trials and tribulations; but through those trials will be learned lessons; and through those learned lessons, knowledge; and through that knowledge, wisdom; and with that wisdom, fulfilled dreams that may never have come to fruition without the first step!

I encourage you, friends, no matter what the journey, TAKE THE FIRST STEP! You can do it! Find someone who can encourage you, perhaps hold your hand as you stake the first step. As you venture out into new territory, find others who will support and encourage you along the way, even if they aren’t on your same journey.

You can to it, friends! The first step seems like a doosey, but I promise that once you take that first step, the journey will begin. It is important to note that the real first step occurs in your mind with deciding that a journey is necessary in the first place. This is where the manic happens, In anticipation of the journey. However, the journey cannot begin until you take the first step!

it is also important to remember that you are not journeying alone. God is always with you, and He will help you along your journey!

Here’s to the FIRST STEP!

SB

Ps. I’m interested to hear about your first step! Please email me about your journey at sbjourneyforlife@gmail.com!

COPYRIGHT 2018 Journey-For-͏Li͏f͏e. All rights reserved,