There are times I prefer to work alone because it is efficient. When working with others, it takes time to get everyone focused and informed. Sometimes it’s messy and you have to navigate relationally, especially with a newly formed group. However, when a team is at its best, the outcome is so much better. Alone might be efficient; team is more effective.
Within any working environment, I am sure we’ve all experienced meetings that were very messy relationally. These meetings are uncomfortable, awkward, and not very productive. Thinking back on a few of those occasions I thought, “If I was sitting around a table with other team members and the meeting got a bit messy, what would I appreciate about the one leading the meeting?” How would I want that person to lead through the awkwardness and move us toward a positive outcome?
A while ago I came across the acronym L.E.T.S. It has been helpful both in meetings and in life.
L. Love and respect.
We are tempted to get impatient and even aggressively pressing for our opinions to win over all others. Yet, an atmosphere of love and respect bring out the best in others. One of my highest values is to be treated, and to treat others, with love and respect. The Apostle Paul reminds us in 1 Corinthians 13 that, (anything) – love = 0. Proverbs 22:10-11 (CEV) 10 Arguments and fights will come to an end, if you chase away those who insult others. 11 The king is the friend of all who are sincere and speak with kindness.
E. Encourage everyone.
Most days, someone or something grabs our joy and attempts to take it down a notch. There are a lot of things in life that erode and chip away at our courage. Encouragement is not a natural thing to many of us but wise people remember to give the gift to others. Proverbs 12:25 (NLT) Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up.
Worry weighs a person down; an encouraging word cheers a person up
T. Tactful truth.
Maybe one of the reasons I enjoy working alone sometimes is, I win all arguments and never offend myself. Have you ever withheld truth from people? Most of the time, it’s because we don’t want to make them uncomfortable or hurt their feelings. Yet, short term discomfort is a small price to pay for the best outcome. Facing the truth helps us make the best decisions because facts are our friends. Proverbs 12:1 (TLB) To learn, you must want to be taught. To refuse reproof is stupid.
S. Solutions and clarification.
Whether you’re in a meeting or just doing life together, we were made to progress. Negativity is destructive and solutions move us forward. Be a solutions oriented person. Criticism without solutions can so easily become cynicism. If you are called upon to ‘critique’ something, always take the next step; add to the outcome by bringing some suggestions for solutions.
Proverbs 15:22-24 (CEV) 22 Without good advice everything goes wrong— it takes careful planning for things to go right. 23 Giving the right answer at the right time makes everyone happy. 24 All who are wise follow a road that leads upward to life and away from death. Place L.E.T.S. at the top of your daily agenda. You will be productive, pleasing to Christ, and helpful to people.