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"We Tried That Already" and other helpful complaints.

Updated: Jan 29

upset man and woman

“We tried that already. It didn’t work.


I don’t like hearing that.

But it’s worse when I don’t hear it,

when I just see their eyes roll,

arms tighten across their chest.

They don’t say it,

they act on it.

They don’t help.

They don’t support.

They don’t show up.

And I don’t know why.


Because I never asked them,

I didn’t learn from them,

I couldn’t adjust my plans.


The plan fails,

and the story in my head

goes like this,

they’re the problem,

they don’t care.

It’s me against them.


Until one day,

I learned to value complaints,

as much as hopes.

And everything changed.


It’s true. I used to take complaints personally and get defensive immediately. But somewhere along the way (I really don’t remember where or when) someone took the time to explain their concern and I understood. It was personal, but not against me, for me. They wanted to protect me from doing something, they felt my idea was doomed to fail. I listened to their story, and together with the leadership team, we amended our plans. And …it worked!

Since then, I’ve learned to listen, not just to the delightful folks who tell me what I want to hear, but to the others. There are reasons for their skepticism and if we work together, we can find a way forward that doesn’t have the same pitfalls as the time we ‘tried that already.”

The free resource this month includes a way to take the temperature of your congregation as it relates to a specific effort of the leadership. It will help you hear the and value the complaints of your congregation.

Click to go to Free Resource page, scroll to "Taking your congregation's Temperature" resource , and click button to download.

To learn how to strengthen your communications skills click the button below and discover a DIY leadership development resource and a workshop offering.


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