UpliftAnother1

Building Community Through Better Relationships

Problems? I Have Puzzles

Quincy Jones Diverse Humble Band

Legendary music producer and epically cool dude, Quincy Jones, once quoted, “I don’t have problems. I have puzzles.” Considering the 27 Grammy awards he has earned over his 50+ year music career across genres, personalities and time periods, he has solved a lot of puzzles. Formal education did not give him the ability to solve problems or puzzles; he has no earned degrees. Yet, his unceasing approach toward education and innovation clearly reveals his enormous learning capacity. So, how does a young overachiever replicate any portion of Jones’ success? What tools are available to equip the next legend to promote selfless collaboration and excellence?

Building Blocks
Foundationally, Jones is a lifelong learner who seizes learning opportunities everywhere. He travels globally. And, he refuses to define himself into any genre or stereotype. To benefit from assorted experiences, Jones constantly embraces interactions with enormous empathy and curiosity. He sees other emotional viewpoints. Through constantly embracing diverse interactions, an inquisitive nature, and ongoing practice, Jones builds enduring relationships and curiosity which contributes to his leadership and innovation.

To apply this skill to youth, first establish a culture that encourages interactions with people outside immediate social circles, ethnic backgrounds, or demographic profiles. Create environments where social tensions and conflicts can be intentionally discussed without forcing resolution. Support listening to other perspectives with the expectation of understanding instead of winning arguments. Advance these practices within an environment of empathy and mature guidance. Help create a community of collaborators, not alpha dogs. Emphasizing commonalities through open discussion and shared experiences provides the final building block.

Building Leaders
Another essential component of Jones’ broad success is his ability to nurture leaders. In the studio, he is known for empowering, corralling and liberating talent. By not entering the studio acting entitled to the alpha role, Jones approaches the environment collaboratively, and then persuades other alpha dogs to follow him. Leadership is much more powerful when followers select the head. Dominant personalities still maintain their dignity as leaders and essential contributors. Yet, Jones’ skill includes persuasion to use superior talent to strengthen the group deliberately. If this developed skill can win over prima donnas like Miles Davis and Frank Sinatra, it can work in any community.

In building leaders, the most necessary skill is to value followers. In community building, that priority means influencers need to develop skills to listen empathetically, as well as to communicate prioritized team goals. Furthermore, adult leaders who demonstrate an “I know better because I am older” attitude will eventually recognize that approach worked poorly in their generation, and most likely in the generation before theirs. Sharing responsibilities, in conjunction with opportunities to succeed and fail, builds strength and resilience in adversity. At that point, youth are equipped to solve puzzles. Also, big problem gets managed because smaller tasks that initially created the monster are resolved.

Takeaways
Building skills that emphasize empathy, values and legacy encourage human development by rewarding individuals in ways that they specifically own. Listening to the team’s desires and personal objectives helps leaders identify proper rewards for contributors to the communal good. That skill requires listening with hearts, as well as ears. The resulting legacy relies on learners accepting that today’s decisions will impact tomorrow’s results. All these moving parts result in complex puzzles. But, when communally valued tools and reduced egos drive each step, using heads and hearts to solve puzzles becomes much easier than solving bigger problems birthed from uncontrollable egos. This approach has worked in Quincy Jones’ orchestras. It will work in developing nearby communities.

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more – and even contribute/ donate – go to www.TYRS.org

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August 9, 2018 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Which Character Are You?

Diverse Teen Leaders Group

Great stories rely on great characters! Particularly, the young, and young at heart, connect with certain stories because they emotionally identify with specific characters. Whether a given character fills the role of hero, villain, buddy, moral compass, or narrator, their connectivity reveals relationships. Ultimately, these relationships become the foundation of a specific group, community, or culture. Whether characters are real, or make-believe, individuals identify with certain roles and embody the character in personal scenarios. It is perfectly normal, and healthy, for a kid to pretend to be a favorite superhero! So, which characters reflect the virtues that a defined community wishes to perpetuate? Furthermore, how does a community encourage realistic social growth as a result of stories and characters that its members embrace?

Collaborative Community
A community inherently reflects the living, breathing characteristics of its people. In building community, characters inevitably interact, whether positively or negatively. The deeper the characters, the deeper the stories, and consequently the deeper the community. To maximize everyone’s benefit, the community’s assorted members must communally and collectively reveal the story. The hard part is introducing the tools and framework for effective collaboration.

For starters, fundamental communication skills like listening, reflecting and sharing are required. Embracing emotions like empathy and compassion helps, too. While the community’s leadership my set the tone, the rank and file perpetuate the environment. The skills associated with developing the emotional foundation must be regularly communicated and reinforced for success. For example, children that engage in group activities that feature positive interactions benefit the most upon modeling behaviors that facilitate additional positive interactions. Fundamentally, developing and exercising teamwork equips collaborative communities to grow individuals’ progress.

Inspiring Individuals
Unsurprisingly, teamwork and collaborative progress require intentional effort by the community and its leadership. Cooperation, empathy, and measurable results are all admirable characteristics for developing better connected communities. To ignite such productive traits, a results-oriented culture must emerge that celebrates individual contributions for the common good. These character victories then become part of the community’s stories. This process leads to establishing heroes who are necessary for any great story.

These heroes emerge as they demonstrate characteristics that the developing community admires. Conversely, villains appear as personalities that seek to disrupt the growth. Comic relief characters add levity to activities that progress toward desired outcomes. The voice of reason perpetuates the logic that guides functional communities. Besides revealing characteristics that contribute to communal traits, these roles combine perspectives and skills to reach optimal resolutions. Ultimately, building community requires balanced and cooperative interactions for success.

Takeaways
While observing children seems easy, improving their behavior with better experiential examples is hard. The same is true for adults. To create a great story, complex characters must be faithful to roles that the community recognizes. Every community member adopts a role that contributes to establishing that community. By selecting, inspiring and rewarding more positive characters, the community promotes positive traits in its environment. The result is better contributors, and more importantly, better leaders.

Nevertheless, protagonists and antagonists are too simple to describe evolving characters in complex stories. Good guys, bad guys, anti-heroes, and corrupt authority figures now dynamically blend together depending on circumstances. The greater good no longer provides a simple foundation with regards to delivering more functional societies. The challenge is developing positive characters that contribute to their defined community, who then create even better stories as future leaders. So, what character are you? The more important question is: what characters are developing in your story to create more effective and productive communities?

By Glenn W Hunter, Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC
Board Chair of Touchstone Youth Resource Services
To learn more (and even donate) go to TYRS.org

July 11, 2018 Posted by | Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What You Think You See

Demonstration against G8 Summit in Le Havre

“What you think you see is not really what you see!” is a personal favorite quote from the Los Angeles Riots. A juror first uttered the words following the verdict, and the words dramatically resurfaced after the actual rioting began. For this purpose, the idea is not political, racial, or legal. The quote focuses on mindset! What a juror first said to justify her de-sensitized perspective of police brutality, morphed to articulate an individualized, alternate set of facts. A looter re-introduced the statement to explain her participation in the ensuing devastation. She clearly presented her personal interpretation of facts. She owned her narrative!

Perception
Amazingly, different people can experience the exact same event, at the exact same time and leave with completely different interpretations of what happened. Whether it is a physical vantage point, a cultural lens, or personal history that filters information, every individual singularly experiences any given event. This revelation becomes particularly important when birthing a movement to launch change.

Facts matter, but interpretation and coinciding actions drives activity. Consequently, to facilitate effective change, events must impact perception. What people say is important, but what people hear is more important! Consequently, to create lasting impact in any given situation, the narrative must benefit listeners. Effective speakers coordinate their own best interest to persuade understanding of their broad audience. Everyone receives a slightly distinctive message. But, aligning aggregate received messages with the speakers’ vision facilitates change.

Influence
Creating social movements require delivering a narrative in which others will subscribe. Foundationally, a singular, communal truth relies on aligning individual perspectives toward the desired message. Progress results from conveying a viewpoint that empowers different perspectives to arrive at a similar conclusion. Consider two travelers on a road trip approaching a gas station late at night. The driver suggests filling up the tank. That traveler sees a chance to swap drivers so that she can rest. The other traveler sees the opportunity to load up on snacks because they still have more driving to do. In one stop, they both gladly meet their fundamental needs. The result is a trip that continues on time and with reduced anxiety.

Aligning points of view impacts goalsetting, as well as the ability to achieve results. A point of view also dictates how success is measured. Consequently, upon understanding various perspectives and their stake in the outcome, crafting a message that appeals to multiple parties gets easier. Effective narratives successfully rally followers to make their individual contributions as part of a greater good. Essentially, each individual works toward what they really want to see. And, these individuals purse their agenda under the covering of communal and aligned efforts.

Takeaways
To achieve communal goals, articulate clearly the desired results that benefit individuals. Furthermore, individuals must contribute individual narratives which will align with the framework that delivers desired results. Goals do not have to be admirable, conventional, or reasonable. They have to be perceived as attainable! Individuals perceive relevance to the extent that their contribution advances their individual agenda. Unfortunately, that mindset opens the door to manipulation by someone with a grander vision and a more convincing narrative. Essentially, “Anyone can get what they want as long as they help enough other people get what they want.” The risk is succumbing to another’s agenda. To contribute to a bigger cause, own your narrative. Be ready to live with the results.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

December 13, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community, Better World | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

We Broke It Better

Miles & Herbie

“I played something that was technically wrong…” as shared by legendary jazz pianist, Herbie Hancock, referencing a performance with mercurial jazz giant, Miles Davis. Hancock continued “… I thought I had just destroyed everything. Miles played some notes and he made my chord right. I judged what I had played; Miles didn’t.” Despite his immense talent, Hancock was upset after making a musical mistake despite the piece’s complexity. Equally, he was concerned about the error’s consequences in front of a notoriously exacting taskmaster. But Davis methodically approached Hancock in the middle of the song, before an enormous crowd, then used his horn and moved the music back on track. The outcome was better. This is pure leadership!

Reason for Being Here
Every contributor has a specific purpose. Whether overseeing a complex international operation, or being that guy where “You had one job to do!”, acknowledge the reason for the selection. Sometimes the reason is simply availability. Then, be available. Other times, it is specific set of skills the very few people possess. Nevertheless, embrace the fact that additional gifts can be applied to the most basic responsibility. If the role involves managing others to achieve specific goals, then enforce the processes. If the role includes leading other leaders, then articulate strategy and expected outcomes.

In all situations, specify necessary skills to accomplish the assignment, then permit unique imagination. Leaders prepare for unexpected contingencies by being alert and receptive to innovating for better outcomes. Embrace unforseen possibilities in pursuing goals. Mistakes happen. Creativity corrects them. Value all contributions and deploy them with a singular focus on success.

Contribute Unique Gifts
After accepting an assignment and launching its execution, prepare to deploy all available assets in accomplishing the task. Expect to manage contingencies. A business task force may require a marketing expert. Instead of grabbing the nearest MBA, identify a proven problem solver. Effective leaders identify the most effective option for specific tasks. A proven problem solver with marketing experience, and an MBA should do the trick.

Bring them on board with clear expectations of maximizing their gifts. The most obscure life experiences have value. Great leaders inspire followers to exceed their individual expectations. Transcendent experiences result when every contributor brings all their attributes and is ready to contribute them. According to Shakespeare, “Some people are born great, other people have greatness thrust upon them.” Don’t be that guy who is unprepared to deliver when greatness is thrust upon him.

Conclusion
Returning to Miles Davis’ intervention, his correction produced a more innovative and musically interesting results. Hancock was relieved and Davis seized another opportunity to demonstrate his immense genius. Davis affirmed Hancock’s reason for being there while simultaneously validating his enormous talent.

Too often, in the eagerness to contribute, the journey’s purpose gets lost. While the destination is important, identify other benefits within the mission. Pursue goals with intense focus and attention, yet seize growth opportunities. Unexpected detours occur. Still, pay attention to the journey. The experience is equally important as the accomplishment. Embrace errors. Then, learn from and build upon the genius of innovative solutions. The result invariably leads to improved processes benefitting future accomplishments. But first, break it better!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director, Hunter And Beyond, LLC

 

November 8, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Train Up A Teen

SEL Child

Mark Twain said, “When a child turns 12, he should be kept in a barrel and fed through the knot hole, until he reaches 16…at which time you plug the hole.” The Old Testament raises the issue of disobedient children. And, today because we have the internet and artificial intelligence, children are supposed to know better and be more obedient. Regardless, where the blame lies across generations for children, teens and young adults are still reluctant to accept advice and wisdom from their elders. Instead of yelling louder, perhaps authority figures should listen more. Equally important, they should listen earlier. And, that listening from authority figures begins with parents, teachers, and youth leaders. By modeling listening behaviors, young people will be more likely to apply listening skills. Too often, youth cannot hear words from adults because their actions are too loud.

Engage
Dialogue by definition is bilateral. Social Emotional Learning (SEL) is a tactic that develops young people by cultivating specific communication tools. This tactic delivers tools to young people to articulate their pain. A straightforward example is the focus on bullying. SEL provides tools to help process the blizzard of emotions and destructive behaviors associated with youth aggression. Power, control, frustration are all elements of bullying. By engaging youngsters they have opportunities to begin processing root causes of these activities. Furthermore, they gain insight to their consequences.

To promote growth, authority figures must acknowledge and accept the privilege to teach, guide and mentor young people. Too often teachers assume they are right because they have spoken. Through emotionally connecting with young learners, teachers forge a path for truth to emerge. They earn the privilege to be right upon achieving awareness that students received the information. Fundamentally, engagement establishes an emotional connection that results in communicating information to a listener equipped to process it.

Respond
Assuming authority figures know best is a slippery slope, especially when interacting with young learners. Responding with right answers is too simplistic. Assuming away the learners’ emotional state because rational facts are presented is a disservice. Treating academic facts as irrefutable truths compounds the problem. Instructors ignore their learners’ emotional filters at their own peril. Students cannot accept facts if they do not trust their source. More importantly, they cannot respond properly to new information without an emotional connection to the facts. If the communication filter is clogged with learners’ confusion, pain, insecurity and hopelessness, then the facts never reach their understanding.

Pressures to understanding, embedded in young people, have changed dramatically in the last generation. Today’s adult parents of school age children are too old to have been cyber-bullied in elementary school. The argument that bullying is bullying is the equivalent of saying that a library’s card catalog has the same research capacity as Google. Sensitivity to the differences in acquiring and processing information is essential to communicating and educating. Teachers who exercise insight to students’ social-emotional needs have a tremendous advantage in conveying information. Developing and exercising abilities to identify and respond to felt needs is an advantage resulting in better learners.

Takeaway
Training young people to learn and apply their knowledge productively is an old priority. “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”, is a lesson from Proverbs 22:6 (English Standard Version). Communicate, listen, respond, listen some more. Listening is not the pause while waiting for the next turn to talk. Empower students to process information that they receive, not just accept the authority’s experience as the only option. Even if the authority’s path is best, it does not necessarily reflect the individual youngster’s reality. Teaching is empowering learning to occur; it is not spewing knowledge. Learning socially, emotionally and intellectually requires delivering knowledge using proper tools so that intelligence transfers. The youngsters’ ability to progress and function depends on it.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

October 20, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Urgency of the Tyrant

Child_boss Tyrant

The Tyranny of the Urgent is a common phrase referring to people held hostage by immediate problems that they face. People cannot perform important tasks because they are trapped by urgent ones. Long term benefits are at the mercy of short-term demands. However, an equally counterproductive and evil relative also lurks. The Urgency of the Tyrant is when someone else’s problem becomes your problem. And, that someone has authority! Where’s coaching when you need it?

Lack of Planning
“Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part!” This clever quip is empowering until the poor planner exercises their authority. For example, the boss arrives late at the office following an early morning “networking meeting” with his golfing buddies. The report he needed two days ago, that he neglected to tell anyone, is now the nearest subordinate’s problem. The Tyrant has struck!

The subordinate cannot plan for such contingencies. They make the hard decision and sacrifice another priority. Consequences emerge from missed deadlines. Other leaders and peers question the subordinate’s competence. However, the subordinate’s best defense is contingency planning that anticipates the reckless leader. Enlist colleagues to absorb the resultant overflow that the Tyrant created. Likewise, be prepared to reciprocate among those colleagues. Reckless Tyrants do not discriminate. They wreak havoc from their egomaniacal vacuum. Defeat the Tyrant’s lack of planning by overcompensating with superior proactivity among a community of teammates.

Manage Emergencies
What can victims do? Getting angry or vengeful certainly does not help. Negative emotions drain time and energy from fulfilling the impossible assignments. To survive, reprioritize assignments quickly. According to Gene Kleiner, “The more difficult the decision, the less it matters what you choose.” Choices fall in the “Damned if You do, Damned if you don’t” category. The choice is real; so are the consequences. Choose anyway.

However, long-term issues remain. Once a subordinate performs a miracle, the Tyrant returns with equally impossible tasks. It is his true nature. Like most tyrannical regimes, escape is an attractive option. The tyrant already has authority and no incentive to change. Subordinates have alternatives. Upon considering equally brutal choices, ongoing submission is a possibility. But, finding a new environment, galvanizing fellow oppressed colleagues, standing up for individual respect are also options. Explore possibilities that maximize personal attributes for individual gain. Consequences maybe difficult, but that cannot silence the right for dignity.

Takeaways
Tyrants emerge in many types of organization. Often, bullies are bullied themselves. However, loyalty to an oppressor is really enslavement! Explore options. Coaching helps. Prepare for promotions, develop new skills, explore different life choices, pursue personal happiness. Find new inspiration that empowers fulfillment beyond the Tyrant. Waiting for the oppressor to lose creates additional burdens. Having courage to escape oppressors because skills, talents, and value exceed current situations builds a path to liberation. A Tyrant has power through fear. Overcome the fear through individual efforts. Then, facilitate community. Ultimately, pursue conquering the abuse, then own your personal value.

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

October 13, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Community | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Did Coach Really Play?

Coach Denzell

An old mentor often reminded, “Old age and treachery will always defeat youth and skill.” Players, clients, mentees are routinely curious about their coaches’ actual skill level. Young talent wants to know whether the person responsible for developing their talent actually has talent. Anyone can read a book, or watch a video, and claim knowledge. But, is their knowledge even relevant? Ultimately, rising superstars ask the wrong question. It is not, “Did Coach ever play?”. The question is does the coach have the skill and knowledge to maximize emerging talent.

Skill
Competitors who enjoy early success quickly recognize their own greatness. Unfortunately, they often blur the lines between their greatness and potential. They confuse a few accomplishments with enduring success. While their peers rave about their awesomeness and unlimited ceiling, these young superstars miss the point that ongoing skill development is necessary to maintain their status. Typically, outstanding performance for a season, a quarter, or a project quickly forecasts to legendary careers. What could go wrong?

The challenge is that over-hyped skill lacks perspective. Successful coaches, through wisdom, are exceptionally aware of perspective. Self-absorbed greatness never acknowledges the competitor obsessively training in the shadows. The district’s top performer often ignores the fact that several other districts exists that also have top performers. An effective coach acknowledges true competition and provides training in anticipation of unseen threats. Often, great coaches possess surprising skill level because that is the foundation for their superior insight.

Knowledge
Because effective coaches have earned the scar tissue to deliver essential knowledge and wisdom, they exercise the ability to enhance their protégé’s skills, discipline and perspective. Knowledge is not necessarily knowing more. It is not necessarily doing more. It is often knowing how to access it, then knowing how to deploy it. Effective coaching impacts performance through growing the mental aspects. Great coaches prepare competitors better against what they do not know, not through praise for what they have already done. The coach’s demonstrated skill is secondary.

For the protégé, improving their approach to their craft is more important than pure talent. Preparation and execution drive enduring results. Great coaches are experts at delivering knowledge so that it is received. Websites can provide instruction on sales professionals effectively overcoming objections. YouTube videos can demonstrate how a quarterback should read a defense. But, the right coach delivers clarity to anticipate sales objections and earn trust before problems emerge. Or, he explains what the defense leaves exposed upon committing to the first two offensive options.

Takeaway
Ultimately, effective coaching prepares the protégé for success in competition. The fundamental goal remains the same regardless of the playing field – outperform the opponent. Mistaking natural talent for ongoing excellence is a common flaw. Continuous preparation using all available resources is a recipe for success. Equating great coaching with great skill sets is fundamentally flawed logic. The value in coaching is insight, not past accolades. Nevertheless, fully expect that superior coaches have at some point, been high performers in their discipline. More importantly, be sure that they meet an individual, explicit developmental need. Whether athletic endeavors or business performance, coaches prepare protégés for battles that they may not know are coming, let alone prepared to win them. Coaches develop results. Find one that fulfills that function!

By Glenn W Hunter
Managing Director of Hunter And Beyond, LLC

September 22, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Person | , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Compassionate Leadership Starts Early

Diverse Teen Leaders Group

A recent Mastermind Group meeting of civic-minded business leaders took an unexpected turn. A sidebar conversation turned toward social emotional learning. Ironically, the conversation started between two members who shared a common background with an organization identifying more with manhood, than anti-bullying. They surprisingly discovered that they also shared a passion in equipping youth with tools to build self-esteem and coping skills. Together they explored how their resources could jointly leverage greater contributions to healthier student communities. How do you inspire youth communities to build a more cooperative foundation? Start with developing leaders who understand how to respectfully engage their community!

Compassion
Compassion is not typically connected with leadership initially. However, for effective leaders to move followers toward results, they need to connect emotionally. Obeying because the leader said so, is a dangerous tactic. Empires fall when leaders demand blind faith and receive it. But connecting emotionally with a team is essential to gaining clarity for achieving the group’s vision. Emotional connection establishes followers who buy into group goals. High performance results because the group believes, not because they are compelled.

To establish such trust, communicating is vital. Effective listening is essential. Social emotional skills cultivate individuals to express their honest needs and expectations. Toxic leadership traps like groupthink are exposed and neutralized by honestly sharing ideas and priorities. Effective leaders can then embrace their groups’ needs, and benefit from their input and contribution. The best leaders understand the importance of intently listening before forming strategies. Imagine building communities based on fulfilling the growth of its members, rather than egos of its leaders.

Strength
“A leader without followers is just someone out taking a walk.” Effective leadership is truly strength with compassion. It involves vision. It focuses on service. By definition, a leader must have followers. For influencers in any particular community, identifying power brokers with a following is a common tactic. So is discerning where to locate available funding. Networking among ambitious changemakers often follows that path. However, connecting with pockets of influence that share an emotional bond also wields power. To harness strength in numbers, create alliances with the strongest bonds.

Nevertheless, to sustain strength, communal needs must be met. Communal needs prioritize the needs of the many, not just the powerful. Long-term strategies seek to cultivate the masses in advance of any rise to power. Therefore strategically, give future leaders the skills that they need to maximize their community’s potential. That community’s future resides in civil communication, then building emotional bonds. Teaching tools to communicate intellectually, as well as emotionally, creates leaders that cultivate engaged followers by serving their innate priorities. Subsequently, their strength results from aligning them with their broader good.

Takeaway
Functional and compassionate youth have a higher likelihood to become functional and compassionate adults. By giving leadership opportunities earlier in the youths’ development, communities improve the likelihood of growing through a spirit of cooperation, rather than fear. The local high school’s quarterback who also trains as a youth group leader acquires the capacity to develop skills to listen and lead into future service. The neighboring school’s chess champion and lead cheerleader can easily channel her developed skills in strategy, leadership, and enthusiasm into a path leading to legislative greatness. The social emotional tools are available for delivery. For those unconvinced of the importance of developing these skills, try not holding your belongings closer, or confirming that your weapon is accessible, the next time a group of raucous teenagers walk toward you at night.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

September 13, 2017 Posted by | Better Community, Better Person, Better World | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Intense Fellowship

Intense fellowship

Two people entrenched in a relationship with a strong faith-based foundation always achieve peaceful resolutions. Their love for each other and their commitment to their spiritual connection prevents anger and aggression. Then, their human emotions get involved and their faith-based engagement turns into an ugly argument! While the opening story plays very well on Sunday morning, make no mistake this is an argument. So, how did their personal, compassionate foundation escalate to the point that their relationship to each other and their higher power became compromised?

Argument
In the spirit of professed morality, intense fellowship is a wonderful euphemism. Highly charged disagreements may stem from any number of issues that attack couples. Friction results from carnal, financial, or social disconnection. Regardless, of professed faith-based commitments, communication breakdowns occur. Even beloved children’s behavior can ignite relationship explosions.

Nevertheless, disagreements must be addressed. Ignoring core issues or burying them under a cloak of religious doctrine only nourishes the seeds of destruction. Neither party feels better. The conflict simply festers and begins to attack other parts of the relationship. A social problem that is treated with retail therapy evolves into a financial problem. Intense fellowship only works when that approach is taken literally. Both parties honestly engage the conflict with raw emotions and expectations for common ground. Specific reasons may escalate the intensity. Still, identify the core issue and engage it. The ultimate goal focuses on preserving the relationship’s dignity.

Relationship
By keeping the relationship at the forefront, navigating intense fellowship has hope. Equally important, a path to resolution can surface. Removing the emotion from the equation, is a simple solution, Unfortunately, it is minimally effective. The emotion is what brings meaning to the relationship. Whether it is love of money, love of family, love of self, or even a common enemy, emotion cannot be assumed away. Whether managing the conflict requires reconciling faith, values, or matters of conscience, embrace the necessity of emotion. It is not leaving. Do not pretend that it will.

Upon establishing the emotional foundation, then address the intensity. Honor the other sides’ passion. Identify the non-negotiables. Understand what is really wrong on each side. Is there ignorance concerning key elements of the issue? Or, is apathy concerning the other side’s perspective the battleground. Genuinely explore the ignorance or apathy question, because “I don’t know and I don’t care” is not a helpful attitude! Prioritize the connection and the morals that hold it together.

Takeaway
When intense fellowship properly runs its course, the intensity subsides. The fellowship endures. Maintaining relationship is the foremost goal. Once the relationship collapses under the argument’s weight, the only two choices are abandon or rebuild. Truly consider whether the point that led to the intense fellowship is the final battleground. Regardless of specific beliefs, intense fellowship tests both sides’ positions and values. Before winning arguments at all costs be sure of the willingness to collect the broken pieces. Beware of scorched earth victories. Winning the war means rebuilding the defeated lands. With regards to individuals or community, reconciliation reinforces the priority of fellowship in the first place.

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

September 6, 2017 Posted by | Better Communication, Better Community | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll Make the Call

Business Storytelling

“It’s not what you know, it’s who you know!” Pathetic talking heads spew this cliché to advocate the virtues of networking! Supporting this madness are countless “thinkers” increasing social media contacts to justify claims of being connectors. Professionals seeking help need more “doers” and fewer “thinkers”. Networking means serving, and consequently human contact. Serving another person’s needs demands contact with other people. It eventually requires people exchanging ideas. Fundamentally, doing a favor, performing a service, or connecting colleagues, depends on establishing communication. Simply, someone must make the call.

I Know A Guy
Continuing with mindless clichés, claims to know someone who can solve someone else ’s problem have become laughable. Nowadays, knowing a guy can mean having attended a prestigious kindergarten with Ms. CEO, or just started following this individual on Instagram upon seeing their “sick pics in Vegas” after they spoke at last week’s conference. Regardless, the implication screams “shallow relationship”. Knowledge is good, but genuine relationship is better.

Someone with a need, whether a referral or a recommendation, truly requires connectivity. The request implies personal closeness. “I know a guy” only suggests awareness. Awareness does not solve problems any more than driving past Krispy Kreme (and that cursed red light) delivers weight loss! To serve a colleague’s need, understand the specific request. Probe for the pain’s core and the desired remedy. Then, seek a solution through personal connectivity. Profiles, handles and email addresses are irrelevant. Leveraging an established relationship to propel another one initiates the process.

The Guy Knows Me
To maximize the ability to help another, the connection should be selfless. Bragging about the depth and breadth of a network typically minimizes the ability to serve and solve. Possessing a network that features influencers and problem solvers who want to help, maximizes value. “The Guy Knows Me” communcates that the network has willing individuals who accomplish goals. Such relationship’s foundation features a history of trustworthy performance that benefitted both parties. “The Guy” has tremendous incentive to cooperate. They already know the benefits resulting from helping. It has happened before.

At the core, networking represents accumulated social capital from investing in favors and generating strong returns based on execution. Generating such returns require active and personal effort. Connecting a colleague with a need to a professional with a personal incentive to help, leads to a genuine effort for success. Beyond having lots of followers, is having the right followers. Ask favors from someone who can deliver results, and who wants to deliver results for the person asking. Productive professional relationships commonly have this dynamic.

Takeaway
Actually, the initial, pathetic talking head is not absolutely wrong. The speaker simply finished their slightly disjointed thought too quickly. “It is not what you know; it is not who you know; it is who knows you!” When requesting a referral or favor, be sure to ask the professional who knows someone significant that wants to help. Such networking contacts are in demand because they deliver. These relationships drive results. Value these relationships and actively look to reciprocate. All contacts are not created equal. It truly matters “who knows you.”

By Glenn W Hunter
Principal of Hunter And Beyond

August 30, 2017 Posted by | Better Business, Better Communication | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment