The Blog of Terrence H. Seamon for posts about change, transition, leadership, and Life
“We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned so as to accept the life that is waiting for us.” - Joseph Campbell
Endings are hard, sometimes too much to endure, like when we lose a job, or lose a loved one...or lose a pastor.
Endings often trigger emotions. Sadness. Anger. Sometimes relief.
We have an Ending going on right now at my parish, where our pastor of many years has resigned due to health issues.
This Ending started several years ago when he was first diagnosed with a serious health condition and had to stop working and go away for treatment. He was never the same again. Though he was still pastor, he was mostly absent. The leadership vacuum became the uncomfortable norm.
It became a long, drawn-out Ending that many in this community felt...and suffered ill effects from as a result.
My late sister-in-law had a saying that we used to smile at: "Leave before it gets ugly."
This Ending got ugly...very ugly. And now, with his resignation, it will likely trigger another wave of emotion.
In my career coaching work, Endings are a big part of my business. I am helping my clients with Endings all the time.
What has ended? What has not?
What is beginning?
What could happen next?
Endings are not always easy, but they are not final.
As William Bridges helped us to understand, all new Beginnings start with an Ending.
Serving customers is one of the most challenging jobs out there. You need to be a good listener, an effective communicator, a calm conflict mediator, and an analytical problem solver all rolled into one. You must be very organized and have infinite patience. Plus you need to wear a sunny disposition even on days when you don't feel like it.
Many have endeavored to capture the key ingredients in customer service, so I have decided to throw my hat into the ring as well.
I call my approach Customer Service With HEART:
H = Help and Hear - You are there to Help the customer. Plain and simple. And the first (and most important) thing you do is listen. Hear the customer fully before responding. This may be the toughest part of listening. We have to make the choice to listen, especially when we are busy, preoccupied, stressed, and distracted. When you focus on the Other, pay attention to What is being said, as well as What is not being said. This includes the non-verbal signs the person i…
Have you ever read The Screwtape Letters by C. S. Lewis? It's a little book about a junior level Devil who is being mentored by his uncle, a more senior Devil named Screwtape, on the ways to tempt and entrap a human soul.
In the spirit of Lewis' classic, here are some fiendish tips from another Devil on some of the worst ways to lead people through organizational change.
"Off with their heads" - In an M&A, make the first order of business a massive blood-shedding. Immediately eliminate all the old management that could threaten or block progress.
"Ram it down their throats" - At the first Town Hall meeting, make it crystal clear that "it's a new day" whether you like it or not. And you had better get with the program.
"You people suck" - Round up the "survivors" of the downsizing and herd them into an intense indoctrination session where the facilitators belittle and demean everyone in the room.
"Leave the workfor…