75. JOINING – Including yourself in groups that fit you and energetically helping pursue their shared goals and values Adults typically belong in some way to many groups of various sizes. In a newly forming small group of any kind, when one person begins to talk seriously about herself, others in that group typically feel (consciously or unconsciously) an inclination to do the same. One by one, given enough time, most of them will join the deepening group that is forming there. Those who don’t will begin to feel awkward and eventually leave the space. A similar dynamic operates in staff teams and health care practices. Joining a group that is of importance to you generally bolsters your courage and support while providing a vehicle for accomplishing tasks and contributing to humanity.
76. INCLUDING – Offering a place of belonging in a group or community In the Chicago hospital coronary care unit in which I served as a young chaplain, there were two nurses with a particular developed capacity to support men, especially those caught in novice vulnerability. In crucial situations in which a new guy was exposed to group criticism or especially ridicule, they always seemed to have ways of standing with class, solidity and grace, alongside the “newby”, living out the “I got yer back” commitment. The skill of facilitating a new person to authentically join a group in which you are a member, can be called “including“ her, helping her "in". Initiation rites in tribes and religions exemplify the skill of including some where others do not fit. As brutal as that may sound in a nation built on constantly improving equality, not everyone qualifies as a fireman, a surgeon, and a mid-level administrator. And solid members of groups assist one another's spirits by helping each other feel the belonging.
77. CELEBRATING - Enjoyably lead, arrange, or actively join in appreciative and meaningful fun among people
By the time the Seattle Seahawks football team began their winning Super Bowl season in the summer of 2013, the synergy that was created unpredictably between the team and the city was already becoming observable. Gradually through the season, virtually every place of business found a creative way to support and celebrate, all the way through the playoffs and the championship game. They offered memorable merchandise, discounts, and promotions while citizens authored songs, cheers on the street and loud parties everywhere. Celebration, (from the Latin celebrer, "frequented, populous, crowded") whips up communal spirit by bringing people together to honor and appreciate together some success or accomplishment they all value. In celebration one gets outside one's normal reserve and acts a little silly with spontaneity and expression out of joy. Briefly leading such celebration on a hospital unit for even small victories, brings color to a day and quiet fulfillment to a life.
78. PERFORMING – Doing something precise with your body for the inspiration and enjoyment of others
A little well timed amateur performance will inspirit virtually any team. Those teams that can’t enjoy it may be way too serious. Whoever can hazard a solo song, a humorous story, an uplifting reading, or a bit of play acting, in front of people, carries the potential to give a bolstering shot in the arm to a team, club, study group, and even a professional or board meeting. It is a skill beyond singing in the shower or communally in a church.
79. SPEAKING ELOQUENTLY - Speaking compellingly to the meaning of gatherings of people
"We are gathered here together today...", the famous beginning of a brief speech articulating the meaning of a funeral, a rally, a wedding, or any other gathering of people for a specific purpose, has become almost trite. When the following sentences are well-worded, focused, and astute, they strike to the heart of those gathered, multiplying the energy that has drawn them together. We call such gifted oratory eloquent. Organizations like Toastmasters teach the skill of impromptu eloquence.
80. ADMINISTRATING – Leading operations for organizational accomplishment The people charged with top leadership of a corporation of any kind need special skills to do so. From the Latin administrare, the word administrate originally meant to aid or help, facilitating cooperation in and direction of a group. We all do some administration however, of our own financial affairs and material possessions. Some people develop these skills exceptionally well, keeping the people in their hearts while negotiating the hyper-complex issues involved in leadership of large communities. Others exploit.
81. MANAGING – Communicating in authoritative and collaborative leadership for efficiency of production
The art of managing includes a cluster of skills focusing on the quality of the work of various people engaged in producing or accomplishing something. Its etiology arose from the Latin manus, meaning “hand”, and was popularized in France referring to the complex relationship between a horseman and his steed, i.e., "handling" a horse. Professional managers easily grasp the similarity between managing people and handling horses--giving direction to, reining in, prodding, and teaching dozens of mammals bigger than themselves, getting them to run the same direction for a similar overall purpose.
82. REPRIMANDING - Using words and emotions to confront the irresponsibility of people to a group
Perhaps the best story that grew among the staff of a small hospital in Northern Wisconsin, was that of an event regarding cleaning the physician's locker room. Bernie, the slightly developmentally delayed housekeeping worker assigned to clean their locker room, one day got fed up with their lackadaisical messiness. He suddenly broke into a rant with several leading doctors present, scolding them intensely and mercilessly. Embarrassed at first, they eventually burst out laughing so hard it even got Bernie to smile sheepishly. Reprimanding well when in leadership of a community, or even in some peership situations, is being a modern day prophet, speaking truth to power in order to have an influence on a team to hopefully improve its functioning.
83. GIVING - Donating time, resources or work that contribute to improving world living conditions
Vincent de Paul, the sixteenth century priest dedicated to the poor, once wrote, "It is only by feeling your love that the poor will forgive you for your gifts of bread." The emphasis must be on “feeling”. Donating to secure a tax benefit, or for managing your image, may benefit you spiritually, but not as much as giving to a person for whom you can generate actual care. Looking into the eyes of the homeless person and speaking genuine words to him as a person is a far more difficult skill than dropping him a five or writing a check.
84. BLESSING - Ritually highlighting individuals or members of a group as in some way special
Blessing in its ancient origins was using words and gestures to set something or someone apart as extraordinarily valuable. In Hebrew tradition to be blessed referred to a belief that Yahweh, the Divine, considered that person or thing exceptionally useful or beautiful. Receiving the blessing of one's father can be one of the most powerful events of a young person's lifetime. Those who never get that blessing can sometimes cobble together the blessing words of coaches, scout leaders, teachers, aunts and sergeants to make up for it. Whoever blesses easily, seriously and in a timely manner, contributes a great gift to the young and even to ones co-workers.
85. LEADING - Taking initiative in giving some direction to a group
Inspiring leaders to inspire groups is a huge management development industry. In virtually any culture, from tribes to hospital unit staffs, the true leaders are not always the designated ones. Being a leader includes an indescribable charisma that knows how to combine visioning, inspirational words, organizational constructs, eye contact, individual relationship, intuition, and initiative in motivating and validating workers. That combiantion sums up the skill of leading.
86. FOLLOWING - Allowing someone else to lead while remaining energetic in pursuing group goals
The U.S.A. is made up of people descended from ancestors, many of whom risked virtually everything to come to this continent because they wanted to be free to do what they wanted. Many have now become drunk on autonomy, stumbling along in self-absorbed, entitlements, and cynical criticism of all leadership. Many leaders seem to have likewise splintered the best democratic processes in history by refusing to sometimes follow for the benefit of the people as a whole. Leading that does not also follow, as in dictatorship and monarchy, at best teeters on the edge of tyranny.
87. PROTESTING - Expressing your opposition to the direction of a group Prophets in the most practical sense do not tell the future. They speak what needs to be heard by leaders in order to care for the people. Of course that begs the question in the present day, "which people?". The skill of protesting combines the foundational virtue of courage with the specific capacity of discerning the best timing, language and action with which to get across a message to a group or leader that members of the community are being neglected.
88. INSPIRING - Stirring up a group towards higher values through words or example Stirring up the human spirit has long been a skill of some military generals who needed to raise an entire army; presidents and kings who need to enlist entire nations to action for the good of the country; and clergy members bent on helping people see specific teachings a certain way. Using song, poetry, quotations, stories, marshal music and gestures have a long tradition as aspects of the skill of inspiring people and communities.
89. VISIONING - Shaping in your imagination, a rich picture for the best direction of a group Simply describing how things should be may seem like an easy way to function, portraying dreamy, wishful thinking. But creating specific visions of how the future could be is not only the province of futurists, but of any leader who wants to inspire followers to move forward.
90. WITNESSING - Speaking from the heart to a group about yourself in matters of deep significance to you
Using your own experience to illustrate and inspire a group is a skill all its own. Alcoholics Anonymous has injected this skill into the recovery process. Every new AA member is urged to tell the story of "how it was, how it changed and how it is now", in a group fairly soon after an initial period of sobriety. Evangelical religion, and to a lesser extent, other Christian preaching has featured personal witness stories as inspirational. Excessive witnessing, however, becomes tedious and pedantic. Skillful use of witnessing includes discerning moderation as well as relevance.
91. ORGANIZING - Orchestrating the various forces in a group, towards advancing their common vision
Pulling together the best in a diverse group of people has been a feature of excellent coaches, managers, clergy persons, and military leaders. Recognizing giftedness in a variety of areas, affirming them, inspiring them, and then creating schedules, standards, procedures and guidelines with which to coalesce them into a symbiotic whole, is the skill of organizing.
92. INSTRUCTING -- Imparting knowledge, understandings and wisdom to a group Instructing is a specific method of education which efficiently and effectively tells people what to know and how to do something. It includes describing in concrete terms, using illustrative stories, diagrams, statistics, examples, video, tasks, exercises and whatever else is likely to imprint ideas and competencies into the personalities of students and others who need to learn. Great instructors are worth a great price, contending with student "issues and resistances" and compelling them with interesting material and methods.
93. CONCEPTUALIZING - Shaping observations and insight into useful terms that provide group meaning
When a clinician meets with a family about a patient the common observation is that different members of the group "get" the situation better and quicker than others. They all differ from one another in their abilities to conceptualize, and all are likely to do so with far different concepts than the clinician uses. The word "concept" is derived from the same word as "conceive" that originally referred to getting pregnant, a successful "taking in". Translating the clinician's concepts to some that are more familiar to this family constitutes on major challenge of healing mis-communication in vital conversations.
94. MINIMIZING WASTE - Caring for your personal waste in ways that are responsible to earth care
To save water for the state of California during the worst draught in over 100 years thousands of residents were asked to cut their water consumption by 20%. Creating habits of attending to the dozens of ways of doing so meant that residents would need to first believe it could make a difference and think about ways they could save a half cup here and a half cup there. The combination of putting together the thinking, the motivational belief, and the actions to actually save the small amounts of water, is a skill all its own. The person dumping trash out a car window has no such skill, likely beginning with incognizance of the community of humanity to which she belongs.
95. COOKING - Preparing and combining foods in ways that foster mutual enjoyment Both excellent cooks and mediocre ones willing to do the work, bring spirit to the hearts of those they feed, often unaware of the depth of spiritual value they bring to the people for whom they cook. A youngster who eats a warm meal before school, on the days his mothering-one can manage it, carries a warmer heart to school that day. Anyone who learns cooking skills, even frying an egg, shares in that global net of cooks who feel the inward and often unconscious joy of cooking for somebody else. Going chronically unappreciated steals much of this joy.
96. BUILDING - Using tools to establish or improve living or working structures Fixing things around your own house, or adding to it with carpentry, plumbing, or electrical features for example, can make you feel like celebrating. Skills used for work that has a bit deeper meaning, such as ministry and building educational programs, add even more to life satisfaction. 97. NESTING – Creating and maintaining comfortable and attractive home space Caring for your own living space begins with a childhood sleeping place. It proceeds in the sharing of a room with a sibling, a college roommate, and a spouse. Making it better, at any stage, inspirits a person. Those who drink in a vista of Puget Sound when they awake are more likely to face the day positively, than those who upon awakening, see bricks and broken glass.
97. CHEERING – Expressively spurring on the performance of a person or team During high school basketball games I would sometimes hear my older sister among the other voices cheering me on. Cheering makes a difference somehow, inside the soul. Co-workers, friends, and family members can generate confidence and enjoyment in one another through expressed vocal enthusiasm.
98. WRITING - Fashioning sentences and paragraphs that compel other people about your ideas Leadership is essentially influencing people through communication. Some of that productive interaction can be done by the written word. E-mail, texting and “apps” have emerged as new forms of the written word, accelerating the pace and brevity with which ideas move. But the art of fashioning sentences and paragraphs that compel people's hearts and initiative is likely to last yet for quite awhile as human inspirational methods.
99. FACILITATING – Actively assisting the dynamics of a group for its smooth accomplishment Skilled facilitators are often able to minimize resistance to group collaboration. Their objective observations, pointed probing questions, and prescriptive suggestions keep the flow of difficult decisions lively. Any member who intuits that flow and adds to the facilitation, is indeed growing the skill of facilitation.
100. MODERATING – Actively keeping group interaction within acceptable bounds for dynamic, shared success
As facilitation is to energizing a group, moderating is to turning down its temperature when dynamics get too hot. A skilled moderator brings focus to excessive, confusing energy and shows the way to turn near-chaos into productive work.
We humans are essentially communal. We are born into a family, play in groups, learn in classes, compete on teams, join clubs, attend churches, participate in professional and work associations, pay taxes, follow laws of governments, and often initiate our own families. If you were to write down all of these different groups that carry some importance to you, you would likely be surprised at their number and diversity. The following specific skills help us enjoy, benefit from, and contribute to communal involvement. We're less valuable citizens, and less satisfied, without becoming skillful in many of them.
The Spiritual Clinician For workshops on these topics contact Gordon J Hilsman, D.Min. firstname.lastname@example.org
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