If You Want People to Listen, Stop Talking. One of the most frequent reasons I am invited to consult with churches, non-profits and now for-profit companies is to assist them in working through their staff development and supervision. Organizations that are on the cutting edge of technology or confronting major societal ills still often struggle in helping their employees to simply get along! So much of what I work on with leadership is to establish systems of training, support, feedback and evaluation that are effective and encouraging. This article speaks to some of that, as well as this one (The Key to Giving and Receiving Negative Feedback.) Sadly, amidst the crush of deadlines, projects and unanswered emails, it is surprisingly easy to overlook the fundamentals. Check these articles out to evaluate how your employee support is doing.
Ministering to Changing Families. Having worked with youth and their families for 30 years, you'd think I'd seen it all. Yet I am surprised that I am still able to be surprised by some of the issues that bubble up in my conversations with those who work with and shepherd families. This article provides some healthy and sensitive reminders. And here's another one that speaks to working with parents: 4 Ways to Promote Intentionally Spiritual Parenting.
6 Tips for New Graduates That You Won't Read on Buzzfeed. More and more, my work is focusing on current and freshly graduated college students. In the past 5 years I have had trained and released over 50 interns into the world, and interviewed at least four times that many in order to recruit the interns in the first place. Coupled with teaching and speaking on college campuses, that adds up to a lot of conversations about future, employment, purpose, direction, calling, budgets, debt, fear, you name it. I find that everyone has advice for this group of young adults, and there are far too many articles out there that rehash the same material over and over. I will say that this one feels different to me. Tell me what you think.
This American Life: The Problem We All Live With, Part One. Yes, it is tempting to put our heads under our pillows and just GROAN over all the unrest and confusion coming from Ferguson, Charleston, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia... the list goes on and on. Rather than shut down and give up, I choose to keep trying to pay attention, pray and learn. This podcast rocked my world. Download it and set aside an hour to go on a walk or a drive and listen well. There are moments I had to pause it and gather myself, especially when listening to the fears of parents during a town meeting. But it is time well spent, and it will help you to gain more understanding of the complexities at work in our country when it comes to public education and racial tensions. Lord, have mercy.
I prayed this psalm earlier in the week upon reflection of his great healing and love in my own life. May we pray it on behalf of our world, in desperate need to hope and renewal.
Sing praises to the Lord, O you his faithful ones,
and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment;
his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may linger for the night,
but joy comes with the morning. (Psalm 30:4-5)