Monday, October 22, 2007

Through a Glass Darkly

This past Tuesday, my senior pastor, the minister of discipleship and I attended a workshop at the associational office. “Leading from Your Strengths: Discovering Uniqueness, Developing Unity” led us through a fascinating look at our own, God-given personality traits and what those may mean for how we relate to ourselves and to others, particularly to others with whom we work.

Before the workshop we took a couple of on-line personality inventories that generated reports that told us about ourselves. Some of the information we already knew. The reports just clarified and labeled some things for us. Other information … particularly some details about how our individual personality tendencies impact our relationships with others … was brand new. We learned some very important things about ourselves and about each other.

Many people understand that there are sometimes vast differences between the way we see ourselves and the way others see us. A shy person might be surprised to learn that others may misperceive her as aloof and arrogant … but that is an important thing to know. One of the things I learned about myself explains some things I have experienced over the past several months … and it may explain some things others have experienced with me as well. Here is a verbatim from my report:

Morris usually sees himself as being:
Good Natured
Team player
Good Listener

Under moderate pressure, tension, stress or fatigue, others may see him as being:

And, under extreme pressure, stress or fatigue, others may see him as being:

What this tells me is not that I can say, “That’s just how I am,” and expect others to get over it. Rather, this information is a tool that helps me to pay to attention and to balance these tendencies so that I can be more effective as a minister. Some people still won’t understand me, but that’s enough to think about for now.


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