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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

All thinking aside, I have some feelings on the subject

I was asked to participate in a leadership class on Sunday nights at our church over the next few weeks. In fact, it was really weird how it happened.

I got a note about it from our worship pastor in the mail. It was addressed to me, but it read, “Dear friend,…” and proceeded to tell me that he had submitted my name for this class. Honestly, I didn’t pay much attention to it figuring that he had sent this same letter to a bunch of people in the worship ministry. And, I’ve never thought that he considered much about me at all… much less that I was a leader in the worship ministry.

But then, I also got an email from our children’s pastor that she, too, had submitted my name for this class.

OK, o-KAY. I get it. I’ll go.

We’ve talked about several aspects of leadership so far including hard skills (what a leader does) and soft skills (who a leader is). The hard skills include: crafting a vision, building a team, being an agent of change, executing/getting things done, communication, and inspiring others. The soft skills include: life long learning, authenticity, having emotional intelligence, possessing key character traits, people skills, and social intelligence. We are only about half way through this list and still have several topics to go, but this is a nice point for me to stop and take inventory of what I’ve learned so far.

I found it interesting that the same week that we talked about authenticity was the same week I had lunch with my bloggy friend at Notes from the Wall. One thing we recognized while we were at lunch was that some of our online relationships are more authentic than those in real life.

This was evidenced this past sunday when a dear woman who I have considered to be a mentor for many years came up to me and said, "My daughter says she knows more about you than I do now... she found your blog."

I find it interesting that at church we can walk around with the beautiful mask on and let everyone think that everything in our lives is just peachy. But on our blogs, we tend to tell the truth.

Why is it easier to tell the truth to people whom you do not necessarily see day to day?

For me, personally, I have such a hard time completing a thought when I speak that writing allows me to form my thoughts in to coherent sentences without being interrupted. With as long as it takes me sometimes to complete a thought verbally, I am assured to be interrupted as some point.

But this past week, we talked about emotional intelligence: understanding the emotional world in general, properly managing our own emotions, and properly responding to other people’s emotions. This is where I had a personal epiphany this week.

I took several personality profiles throughout college. The main one indicated that I respond to things from a feeling perspective rather than from a thinking perspective. I’m a feeler.

Well, I found out pretty quickly in the real world of business and banking that I couldn’t expect to be taken terribly seriously in business matters if all I talked about what how I felt about a topic. So, as a conditioned response, I began speaking about things as a thinker. “I think (this or that)” versus “I feel (this or that)”. This became such a habit that it is still with me today. I think I might even be considered a closet feeler at this point.

So, in the discussion this past week, we were instructed to respond to “head” (thinking) statements in kind (with “head” statements) and to “heart” (feeling) statements in kind (with “heart” statements). And it was at this point that I realized where some of my frustration has come from in dealing with other people when they do not respond to me the way I think (or feel? I’m so confused) they should.

I am putting statements out there externally as head statements, and yet, internally for me they are heart statements. They are being responded to as head statements, when really what I’m looking for is a heart response.

I’m putting one thing out there, and expecting something completely opposite in return.

It definitely keeps my hubby on his toes.

It really was quite an epiphany for me. And hopefully a moving forward point.

I feel better having said all that.

I also feel very itchy… still.

And I feel like the itching will never end.

But I also feel like the internet has shown me that there is always a worse situation than what I am in.


Kay said...

I certainly *feel* for you and hope you don't look like you took a hit in a bar brawl like most of the folks in those pics! LOL

Again, it was so nice to meet you and I had to laugh when you mentioned how long it takes you to complete a verbal thought and getting interrupted etc.. since I think you might have 'lost your train' at least once the other day over lunch. LOL

Yep.. I agree.. I can take as long as I need to say *exactly* what I want to say as I write. A luxury we don't often get face to face.


Brittany said...

I'm so sorry you're still itchy! That has got to be miserable!

Business is not my thing. I'm waaaaay too feeling oriented. I get it.

Michelle V said...

I'm so sorry that you're still itchy! I'm praying it will clear up soon!

Thank you for sharing what you learned! It was new to me also!


Tiffany said...

Actually, all of this blogging has encouraged me to be more open and honest with my "real life" friends! Tomorrow I am sharing my testimony with a group of friends in my Bible Study. I am NERVOUS! But if I can do it on-line, I should be able to do it anywhere. Pray for me please!

Cristel said...

Love what you had to say and I "feel" ya my friend. Seriously, next time put a disclaimer on the link if it's going to be so....graphic! Yikes. That was some icky stuff! Hope you feel better soon. Miss ya!

Lori Anne said...

Hi Donna,
You've hit some truth dead-on with this post. Great one. Thanks for sharing it!
Lori Anne