Weekly Thought – August 9, 2022
Fred did scattershot thinking. Interviewers struggled to keep him going down just one track. One thought bounced around and bounced off others. Before the interviewer could land one idea, another direction took over. But those who understand his pattern thoroughly benefited from these conversations. Harold Myra, retired CEO of the Christianity Today International companies uniquely captured his rhythm and knew how to play the game. Together they produced great content, and formed a lasting friendship. This week’s email is “a rabbit trail” from an interview.
Confrontation is an explosive topic, especially within the Christian community. We prefer to talk about tolerance, love, mercy, grace, and other “spiritual” responses. But we fail to accept that Christ confronted.
However, He went to the source of the problem. He didn’t need the rich young ruler to give Him his money. He simply wanted to confront the financial idolatry present in his life. He certainly didn’t expect the Pharisees in the temple to stop their work – he wanted them to leave their self-righteousness behind.
So, in confrontation, you always want to try to go for the essence of the problem. Adler gave me a concept which has been extremely helpful. He wrote that every man is logical if you understand the base from which he operates. I try to create scenarios from which everything the person does makes sense. When I can do this, I believe I understand the problem. But until I can get to the place of understanding the logic, I still don’t understand the base from which the person is operating.
Many times I talk with parents who are totally frustrated with their children (especially grown ones). “I cannot understand what he/she is thinking. How in the world could they make that decision?” When we step back and come up with an understanding of the premise from which the child is operating, then the decision and the behavior makes sense. It doesn’t drive the parent any less crazy, but it is a step forward.
Sometimes confrontation takes real hard thinking. You have to develop an intuition for problems. And always leave room in your own thinking for the real possibility you may be wrong. That is a fundamental reason I offer options, not advice.
The proper attitude toward confrontation is key. It is not an opportunity to embarrass, play the power card, or let off steam. Evaluating myself first is a primary check-off. What am I trying to accomplish? How will this affect the individual, the organization?
Mature confrontation is for progress, not ego satisfaction.
This week think about: 1) How comfortable am I with confrontation? 2) Should confrontation differ according to the environment? 3) What are ways I back away from confrontation?
Words of Wisdom: “When you understand the base from which a person operates, their behavior is logical.”
Wisdom from the Word: “I thought, ‘Certainly you will respect me! Now you will accept correction!’ (Zephaniah 3: 7(a) NET Bible)