The building process…

So, you want to pour yourself into someone on your team in work and life – you want to build them a bit better. Good. Building another is a worthy aim. However, before you begin the building process with them, take a look in the mirror – a long, hard, honest look! Do you love yourself? Do you love your work and your team? Are you disciplined in your aim of mastering yourself and your craft? If you answer yes to these three with conviction and clarity, you are either self delusional or self confident. We’re going to assume you’re confident. Good. Building another will shake your confidence to it’s core, you’ll see…

Step two is not trivial either. Are you and your teammate willing to engage in honest dialogue? Here’s what this means. A good builder will tell you the truth about what she thinks. Don’t mistake this for telling another your thinking is truth. Slow down and sit with these thoughts for awhile. This is beginning to sound a bit more difficult, isn’t it? A good builder tells the truth about what they think. Roger that. And (this ones harder yet), a good builder will listen. Really listen. A good builder tunes in like an animal being stalked, and guides their teammate toward better thinking of their own. Most of the time, the building process involves good listening at a 10-1 ratio to good speaking. Good builders ask the best questions, both curious and challenging. Speaking truth, you see, takes few words. Good builders understand that their teammates ideas are the ones they’re most likely to act upon. So, they use questions to get their teammates ideas out in the open.

Step three is just as important as one and two. Step three requires that the person you are building into tells you the truth about what he thinks and is willing to listen. This one is really difficult because you, the builder, have to begin by giving your teammate the benefit of the doubt. You cannot know how honest your teammate is willing to be until you begin the journey together. No matter how good you become as a builder, friend, your impact is mostly dependent upon how good you are at picking worthy targets. Slow down and reflect, friend.

Remember, almost everybody wants to get better or at least verbalizes as much. Only a few have the courage to tell the truth about themselves, listen to hard truth about themselves, and then figure out the best way forward for themselves. Find your few. Once you find worthy targets, focus on them. Cheat toward them, if you will. Good.

God, help me continue to build mastery within me and my craft. God, give me wisdom, patience, and courage. God, help me…

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