Thursday, January 29, 2015

“Without recognizing our own emotions, we will be poor at managing them…”


A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Locations 618-619). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

In finishing the statement they say, “…and less able to understand them in others. Self-aware leaders are attuned to their inner signals. They recognize, for instance, how their feelings affect themselves and their job performance. Instead of letting anger build into an outburst, they spot it as it crescendos and can see both what’s causing it and how to do something constructive about it. Leaders who lack this emotional self-awareness, on the other hand, might lose their temper but have no understanding of why their emotions push them around.”

Know thyself is so important.  At one point I realized that my moodiness was hurting me in my relationships.  I was hard to be around.  My wife, Margaret has said that if she really knew how moody I was she might not have married me.  I’m glad for my sake she didn’t really know me but I eventually saw the problem and I determined to take control of it.  I don’t believe I am as moody as I was but when I do see the signs I strive to do what I can to control them.  And I do that by stopping and talking to myself about what could happen if I stayed in that mood and how I would like it if I saw it in someone else.  I then stop being in the mood and change it.  It is called self-awareness and self-control.  

So what is your area you need to control?

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

“When people feel good, they work at their best.”


A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Locations 379-380). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

And a lot of people today are not working at their best. 

They continue, “Feeling good lubricates mental efficiency, making people better at understanding information and using decision rules in complex judgments, as well as more flexible in their thinking. Upbeat moods, research verifies, make people view others— or events— in a more positive light. That in turn helps people feel more optimistic about their ability to achieve a goal, enhances creativity and decision-making skills, and predisposes people to be helpful.”

That is true with your friends and the people in your family.  How does your family feel when they head out to school or to work?  Do they feel good or are they depressed?  Do you know? 

We spend so much time in striving to have others meet our needs but we don’t look out for the others that are around us.  But what if we reach out to reach out to those close to us and strive to be sensitive to what they are going through.

I am retired from being a fulltime paid Pastor but I am not retired from being a fulltime minister.  One of the reasons why I am now driving my wife to her job is to somehow be what she needs to start her day, to lift her up and encourage her.  She has now over 90 people who she is responsible for.  That can be such a heavy load.  And my desire is to help her carry that load not to add to it.

So many times we feel it is so important that our kids do their homework but ignore the emotional aspect of what they are going through.  We make sure they have their homework and something to eat but we let them go out the door without a word of encouragement or a smile.  “When people feel good they work at their best.”  And by the way helping others feel good also goes a long way at helping you feel good.

So how do you feel today?  

Monday, January 26, 2015

“Negative emotions— especially chronic anger, anxiety, or a sense of futility— powerfully disrupt work, hijacking attention from the task at hand.”

A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Locations 362-363). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

And so many people come to work each day and they live each day with something negative that is effecting their emotions and in turn will affect their work and of course their relationships. 

The authors share a couple of examples.  “For instance, in a Yale study of moods and their contagion, the performance of groups making executive decisions about how best to allocate yearly bonuses was measurably boosted by positive feelings and was impaired by negative ones. Significantly, the group members themselves did not realize the influence of their own moods.”  I think I would want my boss to be in a good mood when he is thinking about my bonus.

Another one, “For instance, of all the interactions at an international hotel chain that pitched employees into bad moods, the most frequent was talking to someone in management. Interactions with bosses led to bad feelings— frustration, disappointment, anger, sadness, disgust, or hurt— about nine out of ten times. These interactions were the cause of distress more often than customers, work pressure, company policies, or personal problems.”

They then said, “Not that leaders need to be overly ‘nice’; the emotional art of leadership includes pressing the reality of work demands without unduly upsetting people. One of the oldest laws in psychology holds that beyond a moderate level, increases in anxiety and worry erode mental abilities.”  Our moods effect our mental abilities.

I strive every day to write down on social media a positive reinforcement to start my day.  Now I do start every day reading a Psalm from the Old Testament.  The writer many times will start in a bad mood with a negative thought about his life but he then shows how he gets out of it through focus.  He focuses on God and who He is, what He can do and what He has done.  That changes his view of his negative situation and gives him hope.

“Negative emotions— especially chronic anger, anxiety, or a sense of futility— powerfully disrupt work, hijacking attention from the task at hand.” 

What negative emotion is holding you back?

Friday, January 23, 2015

“Both good and bad moods tend to perpetuate themselves.”


A thought by Daniel Goleman; Richard Boyatzis & Annie McKee, (2013-07-23) from their book, Primal Leadership, With a New Preface by the Authors: Unleashing the Power of Emotional Intelligence (Kindle Location 356). Harvard Business Review Press. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

I have found in my own approach to life, both of those to be true.  The people around me always were afraid of what mood I was in and usually it was a bad one.  Until I came to the place in my life that I realized that I was hurting myself and those around me with my bad moods and started striving to get control of my emotions and of my moods. 

Here is what the writers here say, “Both good and bad moods tend to perpetuate themselves, in part because they skew perceptions and memories: When people feel upbeat, they see the positive light in a situation and recall the good things about it, and when they feel bad, they focus on the downside.  Beyond this perceptual skew, the stew of stress hormones secreted when a person is upset takes hours to become reabsorbed in the body and fade away. That’s why a sour relationship with a boss can leave a person a captive of that distress, with a mind preoccupied and a body unable to calm itself: He got me so upset during that meeting I couldn’t go to sleep for hours last night. As a result, we naturally prefer being with people who are emotionally positive, in part because they make us feel good.”

Take that to heart.  Determine to be a person that uplifts people, who others want to be around.  How moody we are goes a long way in determining if we are going to be effective in our relationships or if we are going to be alone.  I choose to make a positive difference not a negative one.

Some would say, “That is just the way I am.  I can’t be anything else.”  I am one that decided that wasn’t the truth and I over time changed.   

How about you?

Thursday, January 22, 2015

“Unless we love natural goods — sex, alcohol, food, money, success, power — in the way God intended, we become their slaves, as any addict can attest.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?  (p. 80). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

“In the way that God intended” is the key to a fulfilled life. 

Philip says, “When I leave the doctor’s office after an annual checkup I have a clearer picture of my ideal health, which will include exercise, proper diet, and careful attention to some nagging ailments. From time spent with God, I have a clearer picture of spiritual health too — not an anxious, furrowed-brow perfectionism or an uptight legalism, but a relaxed confidence in God’s love and a trust that God has my very best interests at heart.”

Philip continues, “I cannot imagine anyone following Jesus around for two or three years and commenting, ‘My, think of all he missed out on.’ More than likely they would say, ‘Think of all I am missing out on.’”

So what are we really missing out on?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

“Living ‘in the world,’ we can look for natural opportunities to dispense grace — not just words — to those around us.”


A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?  (p. 74). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Consider this… Philip says, “What would it take for church to become known as a place where grace is ‘on tap’? All too often outsiders view us as a kind of elite club of the righteous. An alcoholic friend once made this point by comparing church with AA, which had become for him a substitute church. ‘When I show up late to church, people turn and look at me. Some scowl, some smile a self-satisfied smile — See, that person’s not as responsible as I am. In AA, if I show up late the meeting comes to a halt and everyone jumps up to greet me. They realize that my desperate need for them won out over my desperate need for alcohol.’”

Oh that we would see that and convey that.  The world doesn’t need condemnation, judgment and criticism.  It needs love and it has been given the good news that God loved the world so much that he sent his son as a gift.  That is what love does.  It gives.  People need to see that love is not just words though we sometimes need to hear them and say them but they need to see it is more, it is actions.

Let’s look for ways to show it, not just to those whom we love but also to those whom God loves.  Remember God loves the world.  And that means he loves his enemies. 

Do we?  

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

“The issue is not whether I agree with someone but rather how I treat someone with whom I profoundly disagree.”

A thought by Philip Yancey (2014-10-21) from his book, Vanishing Grace: What Ever Happened to the Good News?  (p. 26). Zondervan. Kindle Edition. (Click on the title to go to Amazon.com to buy the book.)

Philip continues, “We Christians are called to use the ‘weapons of grace,’ which means treating even our opponents with love and respect. As usual, Jesus shows the way. When the Pharisees taunted him as ‘a Samaritan and demon-possessed,’ he denied the accusation of demon-possession but did not protest the racial slur. He rebuked the disciples for their call for violence against the Samaritans. Pointedly, he made a Samaritan the hero of one of his finest parables. He went out of his way to visit a Samaritan village and commanded his Jewish disciples to take the gospel to other such villages. Eventually the disciples got the point: when Samaritans became Christ-followers with ‘great joy’ after Jesus’ ascension, they received the Holy Spirit through the ministry of Peter and John — the same John who had once called for fire from heaven to destroy them.”

Oh this world needs a people who don’t want to call fire down on those we disagree with but who wants to love and respect them by using “weapons of grace.”  That is where we show that being a Christ follower really makes a difference.  It starts inside of us and comes out through us.

And may we pray the prayer of Henri Nouwen, “God, help me to see others not as my enemies or as ungodly but rather as thirsty people. And give me the courage and compassion to offer your Living Water, which alone quenches deep thirst.”

So what will we do when someone disagrees with us?