Success Feed

Getting Out of Hot Water with People Skills

Building Blocks

The Building Blocks of Entrepreneurship are PRIORITIES, PEOPLE SKILLS, and PROCESS.

People skills are the single greatest outward predictor of success in any business that involves human interaction of any sort. The ability to get along with others, collaborate, cooperation, and collegiate are so essential that it almost goes without saying that without them, failure is certain.

We can grow in our ability to work with people. If we don't have the skills now, we can acquire them. Great books have been written on the subject. Seminars abound. Mentors are waiting to coach us. Challenging life situations are our ready teachers. Difficult people are available to help us with the project. We can learn the skills when we are ready and willing.

The three areas that the Entrepreneur's table recommends for a starting place are.

  • Collaboration - Make a decision to stop being a loner and come out of isolation. Initiate a project that requires you pool your efforts with another person. Start small, but divide the responsibility and the authority. It is not full collaboration if you have the last word in everything. To collaborate, you will have to communicate freely, honestly, and regularly. None of this will be easy for you if you've never done it, but it is absolutely necessary. It is also intrinsic to the way we have been designed by God. We were made for community and ensemble.
  • Cooperation - Cooperation is a bit different because it sometimes means lending a hand on projects that are not our own. It is also one of the ingredients necessary for sharing resources, time, space, and attention. Cooperation requires that we read the section on attitudes again and apply the principles expressed there. It necessitates our stepping aside, relinquishing control, and divorcing ourselves from selfishness and pride.
  • Collegiation - As used here, it is the process of thinking together, sharing ideas, and listening to other people's views as if we really believed they had something important to say. This is a big part of what the TABLE is all about - people who are working in different areas, have different backgrounds, and bring different perspectives all having a voice to speak and an ear to hear.

We will need to post more on people skills because the subject is so vital.

On the subject, Peter Murphy has an excellent article entitled  12 Reasons Why You Should Never Neglect People Skills.

I was at the Clovis Big Hat Days Saturday with our Mangosteen juice. During a lull in the action, I was walking around and met a most compelling young lady of 16, hosting a booth all by herself, telling the story of a product she had manufactured herself and was marketing single-handedly. As soon as I have permission from her and her father, I would like to promote her and her product - essentially goat's milk soap with a twist or two. Her product was high quality and her presentation was polished, but what was most pronounced about her booth was HER - She had GREAT people skills. She was natural, enthusiastic, respectful, friendly, and utterly (not to play on words - she does milk her own goats) delightful.

Most people know what poor people skills are; let's start collecting some examples of excellent people skills. In the process, we will develop some of our own.

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Eat honey, my son, for it is good; honey from the comb is sweet to your taste.

Know also that wisdom is sweet to your soul; if you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.  – Proverbs 24:13-14, NIV, © 1973, 1975, 1978, International Bible Society

Maybe the problem with some folks who think they are very wise is that they don't eat enough sweets.

I understand the rather obvious problem with that statement, but I wonder if I also might be on to something. Some folks seem to do more snarling than smiling when they encounter great ideas. The lights go on in their minds and out in their countenance. All of the energy that comes from insight is used up in perpetuating their misery.

Sour puss thinking, teaching, and living misses the whole point of wisdom.

Wisdom is sweet. After a long wrestling match with truth - which ought to be as playful as it is dead serious, we emerge with something wonderful, an idea. It rings true with the scriptures and true with the soul and it gathers around it a galaxy of other loose ended ideas which suddenly find an orbit that was there all along, but unnoticed.

Eureka! Serendipity! Spread the honey! How sweet it is!

Do you ever chuckle when you read the bible? If not, I dare say you are missing something.

There you are, pouring over the word of God, brain strain focus is fixed on the meaning of the passage and you turn the page. There in living color is an illustration that rings true. You encounter a mirror of your own emotions, a replay of your own experience, an answer that has eluded you and you get all giggly.

You just got the point. How sweet it is!

The gospel is the wisdom of God and it is good news. There is some bad news mixed in, but only to lead us to the good. Carrots are sweet and corn is really sweet, but a little honey brightens the disposition so much.

No one wants or needs a steady diet of nothing but sugar coating, but blandness is not a characteristic of radical Christianity. I want to be where there is love and life and laughter. That's my honey tree. That is wisdom. That is my faith.

Dream On

I dream. On a restless summer night in a pool of my own perspiration, I dream. In the quiet slumber of an October evening, I dream. In the quickening of the morning and the settling of the evening, I dream. And when I am awakened and as I move through the appointed day, my dreams do not die. Yes, they are tamed by civility and harnessed by realism, but they persist through the day.

My dreams have been cooled by the drenching rain of discouragement, but not quenched. They have been temporarily diverted by the icy onslaught of negative criticism and stilled by the paralyzing power of self doubt, but they emerge from the cold and persist. I dream on.

I refuse to stop dreaming.

I do not subscribe to the “All your dreams can come true; it can happen to you if you’re young at heart” philosophy. But I believe that our core dreams can drive us on to their own fulfillment in us as we submit to the One who has given them to us and who alone knows how to interpret them in our lives.

I believe that we were made to dream and that our dreams are the impulses that alert us to our significance. Yes, dreams can become distorted, self-centered, and wrongly inflated, but those distortions point to a deeper reality. Just as perversions of reality validate reality, dreams off center cry out for centering.

I dream on because my dreams are the impulses that validate my living. They remind me that I am not an accident, that my life has meaning, and that I am a part of a larger dream.

 And if dreaming is so vital for me, I want to help others dream and refine their dreams, fleshing them out with goals and strategies, reinforcing them with prayer and conforming them to God’s will from whence their essence is derived.

 I dream of a life as an encourager of the dreams God has planted in your heart. That is why I will spend the rest of my life and ministry as a Pastor-Coach.

 I am not where I want to be. My church,

Baptist Temple, the Fellowship of Joy, is not where it needs to be. But I believe that where I am is not where I am going.

 I dream on.

 Come join me.