The New Business Professional
Listening is hard work. It requires you to be present in the moment, attentive to all that's being communicated verbally and nonverbally. Such active presence also allows you to ask relevant, thought-provoking questions that clarifies and dissects what's been said. It requires you to have patience to allow the conversation (dialogue) to develop and to allow thoughts to be processed. Listening cannot be rushed, it takes time. You can't listen well on warp speed. You have to slow down. You have to make room on schedule which means that you may have to set aside other things. Listening is demanding. It wants all of you. It doesn't allow you to think about your to-do list, upcoming meetings, or piled up work. And I think that's why we do so little of it.
Lights, sounds, and action surround us 24/7. In the midst of this constant sensory buffet, the value of embracing silence has been lost. Silence has become uncomfortable; a void to be filled with something -- a text, a snapchat, a tweet -- something. And I can't help but wonder, what would happen if our devices suddenly stopped working. What would people do if they found themselves disconnected. Would they pick up a book? Talk to one another?
I've just finished working through a book titled "The Sacred Slow" by Alicia Britt Chole. This book uses a series of 12 movements to challenge you to depart from the busy lane of fast faith to enjoy our relationship with God. Last month, I wrote about sacred rhythms. I had developed those as part of giving birth to my first book, "the Power of Rest". Now, I was relaunch Petra Learning, I have the opportunity to do so in a way that honors these sacred rhythms. I'm excited about the possibilities. I'm excited about having boundaries. I no longer look at boundaries as limiting but as empowering. Boundaries allow me to say yes to the things that matter. Boundaries allow me to maintain healthy margins. Boundaries help you to live out the abundant life God has handcrafted for you. Helping people find this life is why I became a life coach. It's why I mentor and teach. And so I write this post today to share with you my commitment to your health. I don't do this to try to score likes or to get wealthy. I do this because I want to see you SOAR. I want to see the GREATNESS that is in you fully manifested.
The top priority of a Christian business leader is soul care. Leaders need to "be" before they can truly "do" what God has called them to do within the marketplace. From Petra's official beginning in 2011, God has been working on who I am even more than what Petra does. The time I spend conversing with God is what qualifies me to lead in the marketplace. It's not title, or education, or experience that qualifies me to lead. Those things may qualify me to perform particular services -- you don't want just anyone coaching you or designing and leading training courses. But leadership is not about any of the things we "do". It's about the influence we wield.
- you ate a meal without checking the clock?
- you spent a whole day enjoying a hobby?
- you took a vacation and disconnected?
- you had an unstructured, untimed conversation whose sole purpose was to get to know a person?
- more productive in my vocation and in my home
- more creative, more strategic, and a better problem-solver
- more focused, less cluttered, and calmer
- more stable financially and less tied to material things
- a better wife, mother, sister, and friend