Posts Currently viewing the tag: "Other-awareness"

As I watched the George Floyd memorial service this afternoon, I was grieved more than ever by his tragic death, the loss that his family is feeling, and by the fact that thousands of people continue to feel deep pain and fear because of the ongoing racial, social and cultural tensions in our land. These…(Read More)

Would you like to move beyond superficial conversation during your Thanksgiving gathering this year? Would you like to connect deeply with your family and friends and hear them share stories about the most meaningful people and events of their lives? If so, give each of your guests a copy of these ten questions and watch…(Read More)

Papa, Clean Me!

by

When he was two-and-half-years-old, my grandson, Andrew, came across a fresh pile of dog poo in the yard. Having been told repeatedly to stay away from dog piles, he of course felt an irresistible desire to step on it and squish it around. Not liking the odor, he walked across the…(Read More)

Gracious Eyes

by

Years ago I completed a particularly sad divorce mediation. The husband had tried for years to meet his wife’s expectations, but she was adept at finding fault with everything he did. Shortly after our final meeting, I read an article in Country Magazine in which M.G. Creight described her husband with wonderfully warm…(Read More)

Do you have an enemy today? Someone who has has done you great harm or is out to get you right now? Perhaps it’s not been quite that bad. Perhaps someone has simply spoken critically to you or about you, or has otherwise disappointed or failed you in a hurtful way. How are you…(Read More)

  Many pastors are much better at imparting information than they are at building relationships. They are comfortable in their studies. They love their books. They pride themselves on their sound doctrine. They come alive in the pulpit as they proclaim “the wisdom of God” through carefully-crafted sermons. But when it comes to engaging…(Read More)

I recently received a complaint from a woman who I will call Ruth (not her real name) regarding a video clip I used in one of my blog posts. The video is called It’s Not about the Nail. It features a graphic metaphor built around a woman with a nail in her forehead and…(Read More)

Really Nice Pants

by

In today’s movie clip, Will Smith demonstrates the enormous benefit relational wisdom (RW) can have in the workplace. The clip comes from the movie Pursuit of Happiness. It is based on the true story of Chris Gardner. In the weeks leading up to this scene, he ran out of money and has been trying…(Read More)

Includes 90 “Getting-to-Know-Others” Questions! Many of us waste golden opportunities to deepen relationships during family, church and business conversations. How? We ask generic questions of one another that produce superficial information: “Where are you from?” “What kind of work do you do?” “How long have you been in town?” “Where are you…(Read More)

Do you want to learn how to connect with people? Really connect? To touch others heart-to-heart, life-to-life? To convince them you understand and care about them? To move them toward actions that are right and good and pleasing to God? Then learn how to connect with their hearts by describing experiences…(Read More)

Cinderella Man is packed with examples of relational wisdom. Russell Crowe plays the part of a real life hero named James J. Braddock. Once a successful heavyweight boxer, Braddock was reduced to poverty by a broken hand and the Great Depression.  After losing their home, he and his family were forced to live in a…(Read More)

Study Ronald Reagan and Abraham Lincoln and you’ll learn a great deal about how to relate to your spouse, children, co-workers and the people in your church or ministry. Both men displayed their exceptional relational skills on the world stage. Lincoln led our country through the Civil War, the bloodiest period in our…(Read More)

Confession Killers

by

If you want to diminish the value of a confession, use one of these three phrases. “I’m sorry if I’ve done something to upset you.” When you use “if” in a confession, what people often hear is, “I don’t know that I’ve done anything wrong, but since you’re obviously upset…(Read More)

Building Passport

by

I have dozens of passports, and I need to renew them constantly. No, I’m not James Bond or Jason Bourne. I don’t fly from country to country using alternative identities to evade the NSA, CIA, or MI6. I just love people. I enjoy meeting, understanding, encouraging and helping them. And for that I…(Read More)

Be Kind

by

She stood in line quietly crying, holding onto a metal sign to steady herself. I’d just arrived at the airport gate, ready to catch my flight back to Billings. As I waited for my zone to be called, I noticed her wiping the tears from her cheeks. She was a complete stranger, so I…(Read More)

Would you like to move beyond superficial conversation during your Thanksgiving gathering this year? Would you like to connect deeply with your family and friends and hear them share stories about the most meaningful people and events of their lives? If so, give each of your guests a copy of these ten questions and watch…(Read More)

In May, 2014, I learned that I had stage IV thyroid cancer. A month later, a gifted surgeon removed my thyroid and over forty lymph nodes. Radiation treatment involved swallowing a pill containing radioactive iodine and staying isolated in our basement until I stopped glowing. All went well … until October of 2016, when I…(Read More)

Today you are going to meet people who are hiding great emotional and relational pain. They will typically smile and say a few superficial words, but they will seldom reveal their inner struggles … usually because they do not believe you would understand or really care. As they walk away, you will have missed an…(Read More)

Have you ever been in a meeting that was about to explode? You could feel the tension building with each person’s comments and knew it was just a matter of time before the dynamite went off. It might have been a conversation with your spouse or teenager. Maybe it was a staff meeting at…(Read More)

She was working the early shift at a small Starbucks counter in Dulles Airport. The young barista had probably been up since 4 or 5 a.m., and she already looked worn out. After placing my order with the cashier I stood by the counter while the barista finished the coffee ordered just before me…(Read More)

Don’t miss the special webinar invitation at the end of this blog! I ran into Jim while standing in line at Starbucks. We’d known each other for years, so it was only natural to ask, “How are you today?” I normally hear an upbeat, “I’m OK,” when I ask this question. Jim…(Read More)

C.S. Lewis and I have something in common: there was a time when each of us became an embarrassment to our friends. Lewis endured this uncomfortable experience after his wife, Joy, died. Here is what he wrote in A Grief Observed: “An odd by-product of my loss is that I’m aware of…(Read More)

It’s never smart to offend someone who has discretionary authority over your life. Such as the ticket agent I watched as she juggled an overbooked flight. She was waiting for two couples who had confirmed seats but had not yet appeared at the gate. I was on standby and would not make the flight…(Read More)

This true story from an airline pilot about a fallen soldier’s journey home illustrates a fundamental fact about human nature: since we are all made in the image of God, we are designed to be kind to one another. Here is what the pilot wrote. My lead flight attendant came to me and said…(Read More)

Mom’s Night Out (not to be confused with Bad Moms) provides some superb examples of relational wisdom … especially by a big, tattooed biker. The movie involves three mothers who decide they need a night away from their kids. In order to enjoy high heels, adult conversation and food not served in a bag, they…(Read More)

Most of us are blind to our own poor relational skills. As a result, we often fail to see how our behavior impacts the people around us and undermines our witness for Christ. One of the best ways to counteract our self-blindness is to ask for candid feedback from those around us. Their answers…(Read More)

Gracious Eyes

by

Years ago I completed a particularly sad divorce mediation. The husband had tried for years to meet his wife’s expectations, but she was adept at finding fault with everything he did. Shortly after our final meeting, I read an article in Country Magazine in which M.G. Creight described her husband with wonderfully warm…(Read More)

Every relationship has a limited amount of social capital. Among other things, this means that you need to exercise wisdom in how often you initiate uncomfortable conversations with those around you, whether in your family, church or workplace. Think of it like this: imagine that you can spend only “three pennies of criticism” in a…(Read More)

Can You Read Faces?

by

My first job out of law school was to clerk for a federal judge. He served on appellate courts around the country, so we often traveled together. One week I left early so I could attend a Christian Legal Society Conference in Chicago before flying on to join the Judge in Washington, D.C. The…(Read More)

When I graduated from college, I was hired by a medical R&D company that was developing an advanced kidney dialysis machine. Within one year I was promoted to serve as the project manager. That’s when the trouble started … Within 24 hours of my promotion, I realized I had zero training on how…(Read More)