Jun 132011

Change is possible. Absolutely. But not totally. And, personal change doesn’t happen alone. People can change for the better. No one is stuck. They aren’t just the way they are. I believe and I have hope.

Essentially 2 questions determine someone’s possibility of changing and becoming a better person. 1. Does the person want to grow? 2. Will the person receive help? Answering affirmatively to both are the first steps towards a new life. If there’s resistance to either, then the odds are really low. Saying yes opens a world of possibilities.

Yes, every person has a particular personality. Some more than others. Acceptance of what is and who a person is does not stop with that. A person’s personality and habits is not static and set in concrete.

To be open to change is not to say a person is not good enough. Change is to say that a person is already valuable and has more capacity for good and for life. Admitting there’s room for growth is a humble posture to say I’m not perfect and I need help. Change is not easy. We need all the help we can get. I’ll take all the help I can get.

And where does this help come from? Other people who accept you and those who can give and speak grace into your life. That’ll get you on the way. To use the language of 12 Steps and of the faith community, ultimately, the power to change comes from the higher power greater than you and I, it comes from God.

Nov 192009

Where have all the mentors gone? It saddened me to hear that Kyle Reed asked a dozen people to be his mentor, and to be turned down and rejected. What’s up with that?

Watch this interview to hear what Kyle wants to do to change this situation:

Kyle (on twitter @kylelreed) may very well be right, if a young person can’t find a mentor in their church for the Kingdom of God, they’ll find one elsewhere outside the church. So, add your comment below and get this conversation going!

Nov 052009

Asian and Latino. Techie and Non-techie. Conference junkie and conference rock star. DJ Chuang and Rudy Carrasco. We’ve been friends online and offline. Now we’re thousands of miles apart. Web technology has kept us connected.

And one of the burning issues we often banter about is raising up minority leaders. People and organizations say they want to collaborate and have more diversity in their leadership, but it’s so hard to find qualified leaders to work with. Why is that?

We had a conversation about that in this wetoku-powered video. Watch it:

I have a feeling this is just the start of an on-going conversation. There are other issues, factors, challenges. On both sides of the aisle – those in the majority and those in the minority, racially and ethnically speaking. Chime in with a comment.

Aug 132009

// [update] the talkcast was recorded and you can listen to it at the L2 Foundation blog >> //

I’ll be hosting a talkcast with a very special guest, James Choung, next Tuesday 8/18, at 3:00pm Pacific / 6:00pm Eastern.

On the talkcast, we’ll be talking about how to develop leaders among the next generation of Asian Americans: the opportunities, the challenges, and their incredible potential. A talkcast is like a call-in talk show, and so much more — you can listen on the web, talk on the show, or type in the chat room!
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Apr 032009

I’ve heard through the electronic grapevine about a software under development, specifically to provide administrative support that are unique to a smaller church context. Someone on the development team described it this way:

My group is currently developing an accounting and database software for small churches (less than 200). It is cross platform and based on Flash GUI [user interface]. The goal behind it is to come up with a software that is written in the current decade that is so simple to use, anyone could do it. It is going to leverage off of the current technology to have the needed flexibility and it is going to be very affordable.

The software will soon be available for beta testing. We believe the product will speak for itself and not only be the cheapest quality product on the market, but also the easiest to use, so these church planters can focus on the ministry and not the administration.

What do you think? Do you know someone who could use software like this? I’d be happy to connect you with the developers to get you an opportunity to provide feedback that could make the software even more useful for you. Add a comment and I’ll make the connection offline.

Mar 062009

Continuing the series on “Developing emotional maturity – part 7 of many”. [cf. part 1: what is emotional maturity? part 2: how to develop emotional maturity; part 3: spiritual maturity; part 4: emotional intelligence; part 5: emotional immaturity; part 6: depression]

The analogy that I’ve been kicking around in my head is how some people seem to behave emotionally like a child vs. a teenager vs. an adult. And adults (people who are f adult age) don’t like to hear that they’re like a child emotionally. (After all, they’re going to act like a child upon hearing candid feedback, throw a tantrum or something.)

I found these Eight Stages of Development (developed by psychiatrist Erik Erikson in 1956) to be a useful list:

  1. Learning Basic Trust Versus Basic Mistrust (Hope)
  2. Learning Autonomy Versus Shame (Will)
  3. Learning Initiative Versus Guilt (Purpose)
  4. Industry Versus Inferiority (Competence)
  5. Learning Identity Versus Identity Diffusion (Fidelity)
  6. Learning Intimacy Versus Isolation (Love)
  7. Learning Generativity Versus Self-Absorption (Care)
  8. Integrity Versus Despair (Wisdom)

To developing emotionally could be described as, “… a learning – teaching process that… results in the [person] moving from its infant state of helpless but total egocentricity to its ideal adult state of sensible conformity coupled with independent creativity.

How can those emotional maturity be developed? Let’s not the “child” designation trip us up. Maturity is not mastery or perfection; most of us have areas where we can develop more emotional maturity.

Here’s a great list of practical how-to’s from Enhancing Children’s Emotional Development (Leah Davies, M.Ed.) In essence, it’s facilitating someone to handle their emotions by processing them together. [read the entire article for full context]

  1. Help the children gain an understanding of their feelings through the use of … interactive storytelling or role-plays.
  2. Teach children to identify and verbalize their feelings, as well as to read the emotional signals from other children and adults.
  3. Watch a child’s facial expressions, posture, play or art work for signs that a child is experiencing a strong negative emotion. Then offer constructive ways to defuse it…
  4. Accept emotional responses as legitimate, even if you don’t like the behavior the feeling produces.
  5. Communicate understanding and empathy by reflecting the observed emotion.
  6. Observe the child’s nonverbal behavior for clues as to how he or she is feeling.
  7. Avoid negative statements like, “Can’t you do anything right?” or “What’s your problem?”
  8. Avoid moralizing, humiliating, lecturing, denying, pitying, and rescuing. Instead, listen patiently and nod your head appropriately.
  9. Problem solve with the child by encouraging him or her to think of options and decide what constructive action to take.
  10. Keep lines of communication open.

This article titled “Social and emotional growth,” summarizes 4 practices for emotional development:

  • Continues to expand her circle of trusted adults. At the same time, maintains a closeness to a few special people.
  • Gains self-esteem from feeling capable and demonstrating new skills.
  • Uses more complex language to express her understanding of feelings and their causes.
  • Uses physical, imaginative, and cognitive resources to comfort self and to control the expression of emotion.

Developing emotional maturity is no cake walk. It takes a lot of patience combined with good judgment and warm, nurturing relationships to raise emotionally healthy, comfortable and cheerful children. [replace "children" with "person" or "adult"] It’s about developing concepts like trust, choices, limits, and knowing you’re free to feel what you want, and to control what you do.

Nov 102008

Leadership is big business. There’s over 3,200 products tagged “leadership” on amazon.com. This leadership industry of selling goods and services shows there’s tons of interest in leadership development amidst organizations of all kinds: government, business, corporations, non-profits, ministries, churches, et al.

Since leadership development has become a big part of my work life via L2 Foundation and Leadership Network, I’ve found basically 5 ways (programs, methods) to train and develop leaders:
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