As a leader, one of your best practices is to watch and listen. Leaders get a feel for how things are going and how people are doing through simple observation. As you observe your environment, you notice what needs to be tweaked, who needs to be encouraged, when something is working or not, who has caught your vision, etc… Don’t worry, if you are not naturally observant, through intentionality, you can learn this skill.
One of the downfalls of being observant is that you can get caught up focusing on the negative rather than the positive.
I remember as a young leader, I let the few things that were going wrong become my focus. It consumed my thoughts, and it became mentally and emotionally exhausting. Finally, an older and wiser leader told me:
“Don’t let one negative outweigh all the positive.”
Yes, there will always be things that need to be changed or worked on. Yes, there will always be people in difficult situations, (or people that are just plain difficult *smile*) that is part of serving people. However, there will always be things that are going well and people who make serving a joy.
I don’t want the few negatives in ministry to carry greater weight than all the positives.
This simple statement has become one of my leadership mantras. One of the ways we have implemented the practice of this statement is in our weekly staff meeting. After prayer, the first thing we do is go around the circle and share our positive/s from the previous week. These are the types of things people share:
- I had someone volunteer to serve in Children’s Ministries
- I received a note from a young man who thanked me for helping him through a tough time
- I was able to connect with that new family who has been coming
- I have seen a lot of growth in the lady I’m discipling
Starting our meeting with “positives” sets a good tone for the remainder of the meeting when we may have to discuss things that aren’t going so well.
We choose to be a staff who doesn’t turn a blind eye to problems, we simply don’t let the problems steal our joy of the good.
What about you? Are you tempted to get bogged down by one or two negatives, either in your personal life of ministry, so that’s all you see?
You can re-train your brain to deal with the negative, but not let it consume you.
Don’t let one negative outweigh all the positive. What can you focus on today that is going well?
Your Friend in Ministry,