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leading into the beyond

Leading Into the Beyond

Often our shortcomings are glaring and can traffic our mind way too much. We overcompensate with excuses or act in guilt motivation to do better. Looking at others we compare ourselves and often it is the mirror and speaker that defeats us from the inside out. Even though this reality has truth to it, there is another reality that is true—a divine reality.

Condition vs Position

God sees us in a place beyond where we see ourselves. He sees us totally complete in Him. He speaks to us in a way where we have matured and are perfected already.  He speaks to us in words from the beyond, and not just in the now.

I have heard many say that “I am just a work in progress, God isn’t finished with me yet.” This is true, but the ultimate reality is we are NOW what God has already made us be! Our “now”—or condition—is in a state of growth, but our “position” is a place of spiritual power. This is a place of potential where we learn to relate to. We may not have experienced it all yet, but Jesus makes us into who we are made to be.

So, the question is, how do we believe in what Jesus says, even if we haven’t experienced it yet?

The Power of Imagination

Imagination is a place where we dream. A place where failure doesn’t hold us back.  A runner envisions winning the race even before he puts his foot to the line. He trains, speaking to himself, believing the best. This place of potential is more than what we can do on our best day when all the pistons are firing correctly. It is God’s ability in us; His perfect and unlimited ability performing in us, and for us.

As we see through the Gospels, Jesus spoke and addressed the heart and potential of the listener. He was always pointing to faith, a reality that was a mystery to many. His words sparked the imagination to believe bigger and to do the impossible—ordinary people doing extraordinary things because they believed!

Looking at people beyond where they are now into who they will become is the best way to speak to them. Jesus shows us this with Peter. When the apostle Peter—in his knee-jerk reaction of devotion—proclaims his loyalty, Jesus sees beyond the emotion, knowing Peter will deny Him when all is on the line. Jesus chooses to look beyond Peter’s faults in love and speaks to him as though he will never fail Him. Jesus related to Peter in his victory. Peter’s failure was not the only issue of consequence, but how he responded in the failure was paramount! Jesus was preparing Peter to preach to thousands and teaching him to walk with Him beyond his failure. Peters denial prepared him for his victory!

Failures can make a mess. Doubt, fear and skepticism often block the door to the beyond. Life lessons tenderize the heart to be a launchpad in strength and resolve. Failure can be a great teacher, but it is not meant to be a whipping post for others or ourselves. Isolate it, forsake it and move past it.  Learning how to respond to failure and celebrate the wins can build such momentum. Learning the lesson in humility and staying little in your own eyes makes it all worth it.

Don’t be surprised at peoples’ failures. Just respond with words and actions that are from the beyond life. Failure is a tough challenge to hurdle when relating to people. Often the wrong is magnified larger than life. It is like a large pothole on a beautifully smooth road; we swerve to avoid it but often hit it head-on.

How do we get around it? We can’t deny the wrong, but we can learn to speak to the person’s heart; not to the sin.

Love covers a multitude of sin because love is what changes the heart and not just the behavior.  Speaking beyond where a person is NOW is when we start to have a relationship beyond the need or failure.

We see them in who they can be and not only in who they are now. This is a choice. You may feel like you are a construction site, but faith words move us beyond!

Abounding Words

The theme of Star Trek is playing in my mind as I write this next part…“Going where no one has gone before!” Looking up into the sky we see such beauty!

Looking beyond the sky, we see the clouds, moon, and at night, we see the stars.

If we go further, we find the cosmos; stars, moons, planets and the galaxies.

We go further and find the immensity of black holes, faraway planets, and star clusters with such beauty it is hard for the mind to comprehend.

We go beyond the second heaven and think of the beauty of the third Heaven, a paradise where we will one day be with our Lord. This is a place beyond—a place prepared for every believer!

We want to speak abounding words that lead beyond the stumbling blocks. Here are a few statements that speak and release potential.

  • I trust you.
  • Go for it.
  • You are able.
  • You are loved.
  • You are an overcomer.
  • Keep working it.
  • You are made for this.
  • You are a winner no matter the outcome.
  • You are wiser and stronger than you were before.

Equipping people with the right training and tools is essential to realizing potential.

Words build a picture that draws people into understanding. Consider words that are not restrictive or defensive; they try to control the listener. People read your body language as well as hear your words; they can read between the lines.

Words are so powerful! Proverbs 18:21: “The power of life and death are in the tongue…” How do you speak to yourself? How do you speak to others? This is a good indicator of what you feed on in your own heart and what you believe about yourself and others.

Let’s ask ourselves these questions to help to create an atmosphere for growth and help lead others beyond where they are now.

  • Do we bring attention to their strengths?
  • Do we lead them in a way where they can be developed?
  • Do we empower them in encouragement and challenge?
  • Do we speak faith thoughts that break out of manager mode into a thriving potential?

What is Your Language?

A crowded mind often shows itself when we get overwhelmed. Multitasking sounds productive but often the juggling mind is doing gymnastics, trying to identify what to hold onto and what to let go of, what is valuable and what is not.

As we listen to understand, and not to be understood, we begin to speak in a new language. We learn to speak to people and not at people.

What is the difference?

We speak to the heart and not just the intellect. We discover what is important to the listener and we build associations to those things so the listener will care about what we care about. Because we want to care about what they care about!

Constructive criticism magnifies the shortcoming, but in creative communication, we spend more time magnifying the strengths. We don’t skirt the problem, but this approach ultimately corrects the lack. We spend a small percentage of our words identifying what went wrong and most of our words on identifying what was done right. Giving tools and empowering the person in trust gives the opportunity to succeed again. Probation or belittling is counterproductive and backfires every time!

Speak to people’s potential by faith and there will be change. This is the foundation of creative communication. The language of grace is always creating something in our lives.

Here are some game changes:

  • Have I given them the tools they need to succeed?
  • Are they in the right place or are they a square peg in a round hole?
  • Do they have the skillset for what I am expecting of them?
  • Do they understand what is expected of them?
  • Am I speaking to them not at them.
  • Do I realize I am not in control of the person; they have their own destiny.
  • People are not on my timetable so I don’t pressure them!

Be Love

The above questions are provoking! Often, we can get it backward, where we are trying to do a great work first, but God is doing great work in them first! As we pray for and love people, God shows us how to build and develop them.

The psalmist says it well in Psalms 18:29: “For by Thee I have run through a troop, and by my God have I leaped over a wall.”

Speak life! Speak potential! Lead others into the beyond!

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employee rewards

A Carrot A Day – A dose of recognition for your employees

© By Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton

The Million-Dollar Question

Is it ever too early to begin thanking your employees? Of course not. In fact, we recommend to start during the interview process.

When you are hiring a new employee, ask the person to share her most memorable work-related recognition moment-when she was honored for above-and-beyond behavior. Not only is this a great way to uncover an applicant’s strengths, but also can give you an idea of what types of rewards will be valued by this person in the future. Ask what she did to earn the reward, what she received and how it made her feel.

(Sorry, but if the potential employee says something odd, such as receiving a jug of moonshine for winning the Miss Burley, Idaho, pageant, we couldn’t begin to tell you what you do with that information.)

Next, use recognition soon after the employees starts on the job to buoy morale. Most people, after all, begin a job with a desire to succeed and achieve. Just consider the jobs you’ve had in the past. Remember your first days. Did you ever begin one of these new positions by trying to find ways to cut corners or shirk your responsibility? Of course not. Almost everyone who starts a job is pumped, hoping this will be the company to (finally) meet their needs.

But the first 90 days are critical. If the job doesn’t meet an employee’s personal needs in the first three months, morale declines sharply.

Great managers know that it’s much easier to keep motivation alive and build on it than to let it die and then try to revive it. So they determine early in a person’s employment what motivates that individual—and provide the type of recognition that person craves.

And we’ve found that one of the most effective ways to find out what motivates an employee is to … ask. We recommend meeting privately with new employees during their first weeks. You may wish to begin the discussion by saying something like, “Since you are going to be a vital part of our team, I want to be able to express my appreciation for your extra efforts. When it’s your time to be recognized, I want to provide it in the style you like best.”

Then ask a few questions such as:

What type of celebration do you prefer?

  • Private … a sincere thank you without a lot of attention from co-workers, maybe over a lunch
  • Informal … recognition from my manager at a staff meeting in front of peers
  • Formal … an award celebration with co-workers and guests

What recognition gifts do you like?

(Here are a few examples to spark the conversation)

  • Dinner for two
  • Attending a training class or seminar
  • Spa gift certificate
  • Music CDs or tapes
  • Book by favorite author
  • Tickets to a ball game
  • Tickets to the theatre, ballet, symphony
  • Opportunity to work on a high-profile project
  • Time off
  • Other: _____________________

These are just a couple of the questions we recommend (for a complete list pick up The Invisible Employee.) And of course, this meeting is just the beginning. Getting to know employees requires consistent, daily interaction. But this simple interview gives you a head start. The interview itself is a form of recognition of an employee’s potential. And the knowledge you glean will allow you to follow up with appropriate recognition during the very first months of employment.

So, remember—when in doubt—go ahead and ask. It could be worth millions in productivity.

Today’s Carrot A Day: Rewards While You Are Gone

When you travel, there are most likely people who fill in for you. One supervisor we talked with at a manufacturing company found a way to thank his only employee when he was on the road.

“I had a staff of six a few years ago. Now, since we are all doing more with less, there are only two of us left. So, it’s more important than ever to recognize,” he said. “With my employee, I understand her as an individual. For example, a simple thing, but she loves chocolate chip cookies.”

So when the supervisor went on a week-long business trip, he left her $5 and a note. The cash—the note explained—was to buy a fresh-baked cookie from the cafeteria each day as a thank you. Said the manager, “She’s stuck in the office, picking up the slack, while I’m traveling, so I want to make sure that every day some recognition is happening.”


 

Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton are the acclaimed authors of the Wall Street Journal and BusinessWeek best seller “A Carrot A Day.” Their new book, “The Invisible Employee,” can be ordered on amazon.com or barnesandnoble.com today. To learn more go to carrots.com.

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management training classes

Management Training Classes: Learning the Art of Communication

When it comes to human communication, there are two different theories.  One theory, based on the psychoanalytic model, suggests that things that are festering inside you should be allowed an outlet.  So you need to share exactly what you’re feeling with people.

On the face of it, this sounds like a good idea because it promotes honesty and sharing your feelings.  However, depending on how you feel, sharing your innermost thoughts may actually lead to a breakdown in communication.  If you feel negatively about certain people or the things they may have done, then constantly telling them how you feel is likely to lead to arguments and fights.  This may not be a bad thing if you’re sure that ridding yourself of that person is the best thing for you in that moment.

However, if you’re still interested in keeping that person in your life, it might be a good idea to refrain from making negative comments about their present or past behavior.  This is the theory put forth by other writers such as Dale Carnegie who wrote the seminal book How to Win Friends and Influence People.

According to Carnegie, the cardinal rule of communication is “Don’t criticize, condemn or complain.”  This is the rule he puts forth in the first chapter of his book.  If you’re close to someone like a spouse, a sibling or a co-worker, constantly criticizing them, even for small things, can really affect the quality of your relationship.

Carnegie suggests that relationships such as these can be improved immensely if you just take the time to say something good about the other person rather than something bad.  Biting your tongue may not come easy but it has its benefits in the long run.

When you take management training classes, you learn the comparative benefits of these two models of communication.  It may not always be a good idea to bite your tongue because certain attitudes or behaviors do need to be pointed out.  Racism or sexism can’t be tolerated.  You can’t just led them slide.  On the other hand, if you’re always pointing out what your colleagues have done wrong rather than what they’ve done right, you might end up alienating everyone in your work environment.

Contact us for more information on facilitating communication in the workplace by taking management training classes.

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