Its not an uncommon for a leader to hurt someone’s feelings, rub someone the wrong way or mis-communicate to those they lead. If you follow a leader it’s likely you have been offended by them at some time or another. How you handle that offense speaks volumes about your character. When a leader has hurt your feelings you have three options:
- Remain Silent
- Complain to others
- Talk to them about it.
Okay, let’s break down each of these options to determine which approach we should take.
OPTION #1 REMAIN SILENT – While this may seem honorable to some, it’s extremely dangerous. Those who take this approach actually undermine authentic community and can develop a spirit of self-righteous pride. If a leader has offended or hurt you, not dealing with it allows resentment to build in your heart. And if the leaders actions were truly wrong then not addressing it allows that potential blind spot to persist in their leadership character. Remaining silent hurts you and the leader in the long run. Solomon declares in Proverbs 10:18 “He who conceals hatred is a liar.” Be careful, your silence may not be as honorable as you think.
OPTION #2 COMPLAIN TO OTHERS – Many people feel justified using this approach because they were truly wronged. However, complaining to others spreads discontent and division among the team. Even the most subtle complaints to co-workers undermines the authority of the leader and weakens the unity the organization. Someone one told me, “If you speak poorly of an individual, what would make tha person you are talking to think you would not speak poorly of them as well.” When we speak negatively about others it diminishes peoples confidence in our character. Solomon gives warning in Proverbs 16:27-28 “A scoundrel plots evil, and his speech is like a scorching fire. 28 A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates close friends.”
OPTION #3 TALK TO THEM– The reason most people fail to confront is they view confrontation as a means of recompense rather than reconciliation. Viewing the confrontation from a selfish perspective (What am I going to get out of it) will only build walls and create a defensive spirit in most leaders. But a Christ Centered perspective of seeking reconciliation and restoration is more likely to produce an open spirit within the person being confronted. When they sense a humble spirit with a selfless motive walls of defense will melt and it’s more likely to produce a healthy, productive discussion. Solomon reminds us in Proverbs 27:6 “faithful are the wounds of a friend.”
Hurt? Offended? What’s your next step?