Developing good relationships is an important aspect of your ministry program. You and I should exert a lot of energy in building strong relationships within our church.
Yet, sometimes, we make mistakes in our relationships that make us look, well, dumb. I have committed each of these mistakes more than once. Some of these mistakes I still commit. However, I know that I need to avoid these mistakes if I am going to be an effective relationship builder and grow strong and lasting bonds within my church.
Here are 4 relationship mistakes I need to avoid so I don’t look dumb.
1. Pretend I know their name.
I believe people know when I don’t remember their name. I admit that I’m not good at names, but it is not an excuse. I have to work at it.
I’ve been caught several times pretending I know who they are just to have them ask me if I know their name. I sheepishly say no, after we’ve had a 5-minute conversation. I always feel bad and I look dumb.
I’ve discovered that it is best to just be honest with them. I will often say, “I’m sorry. I know we’ve met, but can you please remind me of your name?” Most are gracious and have no problem with that. And I don’t look dumb in the end.
2. Have an answer for everything.
No one likes a know-it-all, even if they do actually know it all. As a ministry leader, I sometimes find myself in a conversation around a topic I happen to know a lot about. I hate to admit this, but I sometimes feel a need to share my knowledge with all who are present. Sometimes, that means I am correcting someone. When I do this, I look dumb.
Just because I have knowledge does not mean I have wisdom. I need the wisdom to know when it is appropriate to share my knowledge. Often times, it is not appropriate. When I have an answer for everything, I damage the relationship simply because I wanted to set the record straight. Not cool.
3. Talk too much.
Need I say more? Everyone, and I mean everyone, is annoyed with people who talk too much. Monitor yourself and make sure other people are talking more than you. If not, you’ll just look dumb.
4. Don’t admit my mistakes.
People know when I make a mistake. There’s no use in trying to hide my mistakes. What is worse than hiding my mistakes is trying to blame someone else for the mistake I made.
Pride is what often gets in the way of me admitting when I have failed or made a mistake. Take ownership when you make a mistake. People will respect that about you.
For each of these mistakes, I can clearly remember a time when I have made these mistakes.
Question: What is another relationship mistake that makes you look dumb?