Monday, June 18, 2018

Hey Fletch … As a pastor, managing people drains me. It sucks. It’s a skill that no one wants to do—a real pain. I don’t want to be the bad guy, like the staff person who said to me, “You are riding me about how I’m not performing.” All this makes me feel like I’m boiling inside. 

DRF—We all have different gifts. Your words and thoughts share that managing people is not one of them. From our conversation, I know that you are strong in other things, like relational skills and shepherding. Very few people are strong at both relational counseling and managerial leadership.

When we work outside of our giftedness, several things happen:

    • We work slower. Things just take more time to do well.
    • It uses more energy. Doing the same job as a gifted person can take much more energy.
    • It takes more concentration. You are not skilled in the area so you must focus on the task. You can’t “drive with one hand,” but must keep both hands on the wheel and both eyes firmly glued on the road ahead.
    • We can come across as cranky and irritable. The work is hard and not enjoyable. It is terra incognita. With all the energy being diverted to the task, we don’t have spare resources to be kind, gentle or sociable. 

Here are some ways to improve:

    • Affirm that others are good at managing others and that this is not a part of your giftedness.
    • When in a management conversation, apologize in advance that how you come across may not be at your best. “Hey, talking about your performance is not easy for me, so bear with me if I don’t say everything as well as I should.”
    • Lean into your natural gifts. When the person said, “you are riding me,” use your natural relational strengths to reply. “I’m sorry that you feel that way, but your issues are affecting the entire team. We need harmony on the team and need to resolve the issues.”

As you do more managerial leadership, the skills will get easier to use. You may never enjoy the conversations. Like improving your golf swing, you can improve!