Start With You

When you’re having trouble communicating…

When you can’t get children to respond appropriately…

When your team isn’t cooperating…

When the marriage is struggling…

Before you address the problem with the other person…

Ask, “What’s wrong with me?”

First…

What in you needs changing?

In what ways are you contributing to the problem?

How could you communicate differently?

Before you address the problems with others…

Look inside yourself…

Obviously, as a child of God, we start with God, allow Him to examine our hearts and shape us into His image, but in my experience, we often we look at the other person first…and think it’s all about them. I think we have a responsibility to humbly consider our own shortcomings. Many times, if we will look at ourself, we’ll either find the problem or we’ll find a better way to address the problem.

Get to know the person in the mirror…

Before you criticize others…

Could this principle change the way you lead?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

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18 thoughts on “Start With You

  1. I think this principle can change everything. My prayer lately has not been that God would use mightily but that he would turn me into the type of person with the type of character that he can use. I think that's the striking difference between what the world says about relationships and what Christ says. Scripture tells us to focus on being the best husband or wife or father or mother or employee or boss that we can be – instead of jumping into telling other people how they should act.

  2. This principle definitely changes the way I lead. I'm so thankful that before I started teaching I was aware that I should be mindful of planks in my eyes before trying to pick specks out of other's. It has saved me from becoming a typical overly-defensive new teacher. Since I know I'm not perfect I have very little to defend! And sometimes, having thoroughly examined myself first and found no fault, I have been able to move forward and help others with a confidence that would be otherwise impossible.

  3. Personally, I ha ve a tendency to get so focused on the urgengy of a project that my class or team is doing, that I forget not everyone sees things the way I do. I will sometimes have to go back and make some corrections.

    I had a Professor in college, teaching Choral Conducting, tell us to always watch our hands! Everything begins or ends with our hands; I can’t expect them to do anything I need if I give the wrong signals! Great advise for a lot of things, I have tried to keep that thought in mind when in charge of anything. It has helped, but I still get in the way.
    Twitter: bryankr

  4. In the book "Success Through a Positive Mental Attitude" it states "If the man (or woman) is right, his (or her) world will be right." I thought your post did a great job of supporting this statement. I believe if all leaders took the approach of looking inside themselves to solve an external problem they would resolve these issues much more quickly.

  5. Ron,
    I believe this is some great advice. However, the "look inside yourself" approach has always troubled me a bit. It has that "Oprah" new age kind of message. It also seems to suggest that I have the ability to see my shortfalls.

    On the other hand I see a pretty remarkable principle of Scripture here. One place it is stated very well in is Psalm 139:
    Psalm 139:23–24 (NIV84)
    23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
    24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

    Interestingly enough, David had voiced the severity of his aggravation with others in the previous 4 verses and then he basically is saying, "God, get all of the yucky stuff out of me. Take the stuff out that doesn't need to be here and point me towards the proper way."

    By no means do I believe you are trying to push some new age agenda. I have simply experienced the pitfall of leading and then tricking myself into some notion of false piety so I could return to people and tell them it was their fault anyway.

    Thanks for your post.

  6. This principle definitely changes how I lead. I usually look at myself and what I can and should do differently. This is a habit for me. I take it to the extreme sometimes by taking on things that are not mine, but therein lies the balance. Focusing on what you can change will definitely make all the difference in leadership. You can't change others, so why spend the time spinning your wheels. Besides, it's amazing how much others change when you focus on changing yourself.
    Twitter: KariScare