Weekly Thought – January 26, 2016
Fred’s grasp of human nature gave him an almost uncanny ability to “read” people. His understanding of fundamental principles allowed him to assess motivations, habit patterns, and behavior. As in many situations, Fred knew there was an art and a science to the study of people.
Understanding Each Other
Those who use discernment in leadership can be helped by these principles:
1) Everyone is logical according to his or her reasoning base. I used to believe everyone who disagreed with me was illogical (since I was the measure of logic, of course). Alfred Adler showed me that everyone is logical if you understand the fundamental premise from which he/she is operating. It is important to recognize you don’t know the person’s base until you can accurately predict future behavior. Understanding their base enables me to understand their logic.
2) Dependence can create hostility. One of my psychiatrist friends introduced me to this concept. It has been emotionally helpful in business, and mentoring, as well as with the family. This occurs when someone is dependent emotionally, financially, or spiritually on someone else, and gets angry about it. In older age physical dependence can create this hostile environment. We see this in long term employment situations, and even in long term marriages. People who grow dependent deny their need while continuing to accept the benefits of the situation. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you” is a perfect example of hostile dependence lived out.
3) Psychic space requirements differ from one person to another. In a small group a woman became extremely emotional and shouted out, “I hate you, I hate you!” What happened? The leader of the group invaded her personal space and triggered an outburst. As leaders, we need to be careful to correctly identify boundaries and not create emotionally compromising situations. Those who head cross-culturally certainly understand this concept for these limits change dramatically from one culture to another, creating possibilities for misunderstanding and mistrust. We have spiritual space, as well. Too often people jump into another’s space with “penetrating” questions that border on the curious not the interested. We must earn the right to be invited into “soul space.”
Understanding these principles helps us lead with integrity. Facts are always preceded by feelings and using discernment allows us to match one with the other.
This week think about: 1) How can I grow in the use of discernment? 2) What examples can I think of to demonstrate each principle? 3) How well do I know the people around me?
Words of Wisdom: “People who grow dependent deny their need while continuing to accept the benefits of the situation.”
Wisdom from the Word: “indeed, if you call out for discernment – raise your voice for understanding” (Proverbs 2:3 NET Bible)