I am so grateful and blessed to have been given the opportunity to be associated with Orrin Woodward and the rest of the Policy Council. The information that they have developed regarding building communities through TEAM and helping people live the life they’ve always wanted through LIFE is world-class. I hope you find these lessons helpful.
Lessons of a Community Builder – Part 3:
Stop worrying about what others think of you: For as long as I can remember, I worried about what others would think of me…at work, at church, other parents, neighbors…just about everyone. So naturally, this worry carried over when I started building communities too. And because of that worry, the speed at which I would grow my community was very slow. I would not contact great people who were probably in “the looking zone” for fear they’d think something negative of me…how selfish. I represented the greatest business in the world (LIFE) and because of my own selfish insecurities, I was withholding an opportunity from people that could allow them to pursue the life they’ve always wanted. Then one day I was listening to a sermon and the pastor made the following statement, “Instead of worrying about what other people think of you, start worrying about what God thinks of you.” That sentence changed my entire perspective. If you are pursuing your God-given purpose, who cares what others think of you. At that point, I decided that what God thinks of me will govern my life. Since that decision, it’s amazing how much more confidence a person has when dealing with people. Remember, in the end, it’s much more important to hear, “Well done thy good and faithful servant.”; than to have your neighbor approve of what you are doing. I recommend the following: “The Christian Comfort Guide”.
Don’t argue with people: This principle is best explained through an example. Awhile back, I was getting a gentleman started in the community and he made a statement that he does not attend seminars of any kind. He was very adamant about his position. In the past, I would have responded like most people and proceed to explain to him how awesome these seminars are, how it is so important for him to go, and actually start to argue with him. This would only drive a wedge in between us and I would have lost my ability to positively influence him. As the saying goes, “A person convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” But, in this case, I just responded with “I understand” and left him more CD’s. Each time I saw him, I would feed him more CD’s, remind him of his dream and just be his friend. Now, he did not go to the very next seminar, but he did contact me a month later and asked me how he could get a ticket for the next seminar. I could have argued with him, after all, I knew I was right and he was wrong, but what I learned is that I had to let him learn he was wrong on his own by feeding him CD’s and just being a friend to him. I strongly recommend everyone read, “How to Win Friends and Influence People”.
Be an uplifting and encouraging person: Most people find themselves in environments throughout the course of their day that are negative, critical, depressing, and degrading. The reason why communities are so appealing to people is because they are looking for association that is different from their everyday routine. This principle will help you create the right environment. Encourage and uplift people. Be a “good-finder” with people. You will encounter people that need correcting, but if you just encourage and uplift and let the CD’s and books do the correcting, you will be amazed with your results. Not to mention, you’ll develop a lot of friends. If you create an environment where people feel great every time they are around you and around the association you create, your community will explode. Conversely, if you create an environment that doesn’t make people feel great, they will not stick around long. They will continue their search for a community where they do feel great and write off the LIFE TEAM as “not for them”. I recommend reading the following book: “Bringing Out the Best in People”.
No negative around community: I have been to community-building meetings where the excitement and energy is high, people are getting started, taking first-night material, booking follow-throughs and then here comes someone who’s been around for a while with a long face and proceeds on informing me (at a volume level for all to hear) how all their people didn’t show, how “so and so” quit, and 45 miles was way too far to drive. Within a few minutes, all the energy and excitement is sucked out of the room. Now, don’t get me wrong, I know when you are pursuing greatness and building communities you are going to have frustrating moments. When those moments happen, I am the first to encourage people to talk to their support person or mentor. However, there is a time and place to deal with frustrations…a fired up community-building meeting is not one of them. Develop the discipline and professionalism to have that discussion with your support person or mentor before/after meeting…not during. Only positive around community. I recommend reading, “Developing the Leader Within You”
Empathy, not sympathy: People who get started with LIFE and TEAM typically have big hearts and they want to help people succeed. When building communities, you are going to meet people with sad stories and difficult situations. It is very important when you encounter these situations that you display empathy, not sympathy. Here’s an example between the two: Sympathy says, “I know that you can’t afford to go to the leadership convention in Milwaukee in July, so it’s okay if you don’t go.” Empathy says, “I understand that you can’t afford to go to the leadership convention in Milwaukee in July, but I know that if you want to change your circumstances, you need to be there. What do you say we brainstorm together and figure out a way to help you get the money needed to go.” Sympathy actually hurts people more than helps them. Empathy says you care about them enough to help them fight through their obstacles so they can win in life. Read, “The Seven Habits of Highly Successful People”.
Mentoring: If you’ve ever watched a NASCAR race, what you observed was 40+ cars driving at very high speeds all at once around a racetrack or road course with eventually one driver in the winner’s circle at the end of the race. The driver gets all the credit in the after-race interviews, but most drivers are quick to point out that it took a whole team to collect the victory. One of the members of the team is called a “spotter.” A spotter is positioned in a location where they can see the entire track and remains in communication with the driver at all times. Because the spotter has a different perspective of the race than the driver, he/she is able to help the driver avoid debris, accidents, etc. Basically, the spotter offers the driver information from a different perspective so that mid-race adjustments can be made to give the driver the best chance for victory. This is exactly the role of a mentor when building communities. A mentor can give you a different perspective about a given situation and then provide critical information to help you not only successfully maneuver around the track, but to make sure you win at the end. The driver that does not utilize a spotter is at great risk of crashing and knocking themselves out of the race. This is true of building communities and not using a mentor too. If you want to build large communities of people that will last over time, make sure you mentor on a regular basis. Please listen to the CD titled, “This is Mentoring”.
The fourth and final part of this article coming soon.
God bless and have a great day!
Eric C. Blomdahl