Tag: hard conversations

How to Have a Crucial Conversation

Recently we met for dinner with a young couple we love whose marriage is in crisis.

Another friend’s teenage son entered rehab.

Two had to fire employees.

One needs to break up with her boyfriend.

AAAAARRRGGGHHH!  For the love of world peace!

In each of these situations a crucial conversation (or series of them) was called for.  Conversations where emotions ran high.  Sometimes there was a difference of opinion.   Perhaps there was hard truth that needed to be clearly, but gently communicated.

John and I often repeat something our friend Nancy Beach once said: “Leadership is a series of hard conversations.”  I think that might as well be “LIFE is a series of hard conversations.”

In August we took a large group from our church to the annual Leadership Summit at Willow Creek.  The most pertinent talk for many of us was called “Crucial Conversations” by Joseph Grenny.

He said, any time you find yourself stuck, there are crucial conversations you’re not having, or not having well. Continue reading

Spirit Stretch Friday and a Bathroom Scale

I hate scales.  They’re so….ungracious.

Like many people, I struggle with my weight.  Ten pounds up, ten pounds down, ten pounds up… (If you don’t struggle with your weight I’m not sure we can be friends). A discipline that’s become really important for me is weighing in.

A few years ago I heard a podcast where the speaker did something fascinating.  He asked 3 brave (foolish?) people to come up on stage and tell the congregation what they thought they weighed.  Then he pulled out a scale.  He asked each of them to get on the scale one at a time, and, you guessed it, each of them had said they weighed significantly less than they actually did.  The scale was the truth-teller.

That gave me an idea.  The discipline of weighing in makes me aware of how I might need to adjust my eating or exercise.  It’s pretty stupid if I make myself face the truth and then don’t do anything about it.  So just recently I decided this physical discipline might be combined with a spiritual discipline.

This may sound really cheesy, but awhile ago I wrote these verses on a card and put them on the scale:

James 2:22-25 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves.  Do what it says.  Those who listen to the word but do not do what it says are like people who look at their faces in a mirror and, after looking at themselves, go away and immediately forget what they look like.  But those who look intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continue in it – not forgetting what they have heard, but doing it – they will be blessed in what they do.

So the other day I REALLY didn’t want to get on the scale.  I KNEW I was not going to like what I’d see because the day before I had eaten more than I should.  But I made myself get on the scale anyway and you know what?  I DIDN’T like what the scale said, but in addition, as I thought about the verse on the scale, God brought to mind something else I really didn’t want to face – someone I needed to go to and ask forgiveness.  I needed to DO something.

The great thing was that when I did have the hard conversation I needed to have, the person was extremely gracious and I felt like it honored God and brought our relationship to a healthier place.

That scale and that verse were reminders that part of growing in discipleship is facing some things we don’t want to face and then doing something about it.

Maybe this practice helps stretch the spiritual muscles of examination, obedience, humility… What do you think?  Is there a discipline in your life that helps you face the truth?

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