It’s the New Year and many of us think about how we might improve our lives this year over the last. Resolving to change is a good thing. But how? A lot goes into making a lasting change in our lives, but there is one piece of it that many fail to master: SEEKING AND ACCEPTING FEEDBACK.
When feedback is negative it can hurt and tempt us into a defensive mode so we tend to avoid and resist feedback, but ministry leaders need honest feedback the way developing children need vegetables. You can’t grow and lead effectively without it. Leadership experts James Kouzes and Barry Posner remind us, “Openness to feedback, especially negative feedback, is characteristic of the best learners, and it’s something all leaders, especially aspiring ones, need to cultivate. (The Truth about Leadership, p. 130)
If there is room for improvement in your life or ministry, and of course there is, then you need your own personal “Room for Improvement” located inside of you. Imagine a room inside your soul that you go to when someone offers you a critique either personally or professionally. The purpose of the Room for Improvement is to prepare you ahead of time in a spiritual way for the inevitable negative feedback that someone is preparing to give to you in the near future. Let’s take a moment to set up your room. Imagine a room that exists inside of you. Decorate this room, sparing no expense, with whatever décor you choose in order to create a space that will bring you a deep sense of peace when you walk in and sit down. Take a moment to create your room right now.
All décor is optional except for one wall hanging, perhaps a plaque or a woven tapestry, with the following scripture quote on it: For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant; later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it. (Hebrews 12:11, NRSV)
Now your tranquil Room for Improvement is ready to bear the fruit of peace in your life both professionally and personally. Here is a 7-step meditation that will unlock the power of your Room for Improvement:
If you are not good at accepting criticism, use the 7-step meditation daily for the next three weeks. If you are married, ask your spouse to do it too. It will reap great benefits in your relationship! Happy New Year!
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