274 – Lead by Observing
#faithbites #faithjourney Lead
Today, like most days, I was sitting in class with our med students. While I”m helping the faculty out, I am also learning both the subject matter and about myself. For those of you who know me, you know I like to talk. I can add to almost any conversation by my experience and/or my curiosity. I love to talk and I love to learn. Today though, I was quite. I listened, I learned, and I was a shoulder for someone to share with. In that moment, by not talking, I showed that I could lead by just observing.
How many times in life to we feel we need to add to the conversation. That by saying something we are helping or moving something forward. At times, that is very true. Other times, just being there, and being a presence is good enough. I had a former mentor who like me, she liked to talk. She said she used to talk in every meeting, then played a game with herself of how long she could go without talking. Then when she did need to say something, people paid attention to her. Another time when I volunteered for my fraternity, I was placed on a committee, not for my knowledge but for being warm, open, and a “teddy bear”.
I truly believe that at times, by just observing and being present, we can be the best leader the group needs in that situation at that time.
Scripture on Leading by Observing
- The one who has knowledge uses words with restraint, and whoever has understanding is even-tempered. – Proverbs 17:27
- And He did not answer him with regard to even a single charge, so the governor was quite amazed. – Matthew 27:14
- But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect – 1 Peter 3:15
Our three verses show three different sides of leading by being silent or observing. The first shows us that words can get us into trouble, those with knowledge know when to use words and when to hold back. In the second verse (and there were like 10 similar to this) it showed Jesus being silent even when threatened with death. He was leading by not responding to the charges. He was showing ultimate strength. The third verse tells us when to talk. We are quiet but when someone asks, we should be prepared to give an answer. While this is referring to sharing the Good News, it is also about anything. Share when others need it. Sometimes we feel it, sometimes they ask for it.
This is not easy for me. I want to help others and feel I have the words to do it. Sometimes, just being there: silent, compassionate, and stable, is all they need from their leader.
Think about how you lead. Do you use your words to change a situation? Maybe just your presence changes the dynamic. Do you listen for the spoken and unspoken needs of people for your help? Take time to look at how you interact with people. Sometimes just saying “I Believe You and I’m here for you”, is enough.
Lord, help me to show restraint in my words. Let me led through my presence and when I speak, let it be your words to help and comfort others.