My first full-time job after having raised six children was traumatic, to say the least. As a new divorcee’ my self-esteem was as low as my expectations. My emotions and brain were seriously fragmented.
I learned the hard way:
- To listen
- To focus
- To follow directions
- To assume nothing
- To check and double check the details
Along the way I discovered that these same rules work well in almost any situation.
Put yourself in a social setting where you know absolutely no one. You’re meeting new people and feeling self-conscious. “Will I remember their names?” “Where did she say she was from?” What’s her connection to the host?”
Now review that employee checklist above. The first step is to listen. Most of us are busy thinking what we’re going to say next and we fail to listen and repeat the information in our minds. We also lack focus and forget the details we’ve just been given.
If it’s a work-related gathering, you’ll need to follow important directions/instructions. You must never assume you know what is required, because usually you don’t. Once the project or assignment is underway, you’ll need to proof it, check the details for accuracy, and make sure your purpose was achieved.
Now suppose you’re in a conversation with your spouse or significant other. Each of you wants to be heard. Be sure you listen with a desire to understand before you spout off your grievances.
Focus not on yourself, but your relationship. Follow your spouse’s lead and listen for hints or instructions that may guide your answers. Never assume you know what’s going on in his or her head because you don’t. You never know what another person is thinking.
Repeat back what you think he or she said (check and double check). When it’s your turn to express your views, you’re more apt to be listened to if you give the other person your full attention.
In turn, these same skills are what a parent needs to teach a child in order for them to become good students, to make friends and to have a better relationship with you. Conversation is a two-way street, and both sides need to walk away satisfied.
Now put yourself in a prayer relationship with your God or higher power. Rather than always rattling off your needs and wants, expressing a little gratitude goes a long way. Listen tor the spirit to either warm your heart or speak to your mind.
Focus on this most intimate of conversations. Don’t let your mind wander. If you sense a direction for your life or are given instructions, obey. Don’t assume that God is either angry with you or that he doesn’t love you. The scriptures (his Word) say otherwise.
Check and double check means going back to the feet of God often. Any relationship requires nurturing and familiarity to prosper. This is especially true in a prayer relationship. Listening, focusing, and following through with what you know to be right will bring a light into your life that will clear the way for joy and prosperity.
And that’s my “Five Step” program!