Are Managing Relationships Easier Online?

We’ve all come across this:

1. You call someone, the phone rings and rings and no one answers. A few minutes later you get a text:

“What’s up man?”

Why didn’t they call you?

2. You’re on Facebook scrolling through posts and you see 2 people talking up a storm back in forth in the comments area.

Why don’t they just call each other?

Why are people easier to reach and more talkative/engaging online then they are in person? Have people forgotten how to engage in relationships, or is there something else going on?

What could it be? Here are some of my opinions:

1. You’re too talkative – Maybe you’re a gabber. People love talking to you but they know that calling you will demand a commitment.

2. People are busy – Sometimes people need answers on the go, or maybe they’re in the middle of something (like a meeting). They know you can add value, and they’ll most likely call you later to thank you. (depending on whether you get back to them quick enough)

3. Social Media can disguise a bad communicator – The fact is, managing relationships IS easier online. Although prolonged response can be bad when it comes to keeping the conversation going, there is no awkward silence between back and forth communication. When we’re face to face and ask a question, our response is immediately needed. Although our response online may be needed, we have time to think about it before we spit it out. This allows people to say the right thing and not some stupid thing that’s going to make them sound dumb.

4. People can sound intelligent – This plays into #3, but during face to face debates/arguments most people will not get on their soapbox to stand by their opinion due to lack of knowledge on the subject. Online, a person can quickly google knowledge that will help them prove their point.

5. Conversations can remain simple and effective – In all reality, sometimes texting or social media can keep a needed conversation simple and effective. In crazy times like today we work in places that demand more of us due to the inability to hire more help. This causes us to run wild having to manage not only our work schedule but also our multitude of relationships. Since social media has come into play, our relationships have increased 10 fold making it difficult and sometime near impossible to manage all of them offline. You have to remember, we are more connected then ever before having access and insight to all of these peoples lives online.

All 5 of these factors can attribute to reasons why people choose to communicate online rather than in person. At the end of the day though, building a strong relationship will require you to represent yourself in person. If you avoid the face to face, eventually your relationship will fade. Be sure to identify which relationships are most important to you and be sure to maintain a level of face to face. Having healthy boundries will allow you to manage them effectively and avoid feelings from being hurt.

A Great Way to Practice Leadership

Is there a voice inside of you that keeps telling you to lead, but you don’t really know what to do with it?

One of the best ways to practice leadership is with an audience that is super forgiving. Kids.

Kids are hungry for leadership. They rely heavily on adults organizing things for them to do and there’s a lot of kids that have no one to do it for them. Working with kids can also teach you three important things:

Speaking, patience, and how not to take yourself too seriously.

When you’re a leader, people take notice. There’s a character that will resonate in you and whether you call it an aura, spirit, or self confidence, that character will be recognized even when you aren’t purposely leading.

There are lots of organizations that need leaders to volunteer everyday. Here’s some you may consider based on your situation:

1. Boy/Girl Scouts
2. Church
3. Tutoring Programs
4. Boys & Girls Clubs of America
5. Sports (little league, soccer, etc.)

These are the first five that come to mind. There may be some local programs you can find simply by asking. The first step in leadership is the easiest and yet often the hardest – Deciding to take action.

I have to warn you though…once you start working with kids, you may not stop.

Creating Our Family Plan

A couple years ago Amy and I sat down and decided to do something different.

Write a Family Plan.

If you saw or heard how the plan worked you’d agree it was a great way to live intentionally. I shared the “how to” and purpose of the plan with a friend of mine who was running a Habitat for Humanity back in Michigan and she absolutely loved it. She asked if I’d be interested in teaching families that are helped by HFH on how to make their own. I found that to be a huge compliment, but passed on the idea because I felt it wouldn’t be right to teach something that I haven’t lived out myself.

After a couple months of writing it the plan disappeared. Circumstances got in the way and we began to respond to life outside of our original intentions. I realize that this is probably common with businesses as well. We spend hours and hours writing a business plan and after it’s done put it to the side and forget that it’s there. Over time we wonder why things didn’t work out as we planned.

I regret now not teaching others how to do this when asked to. I strongly feel that teaching is the best way to learn, and it may have caused us to stick to it.

The plan has recently come up in conversation between Amy and I and so last night I printed it off. ┬áThis week we are revisiting it and will be making tweaks to it’s direction. ┬áRegardless of where we’re at, this time if an opportunity comes up to teach on it, I won’t be passing it up.

Using Social Media to hold you Accountable

Our status updates are like a time sheet being filled out to document our daily journey. Is your story the same every single day? Does it lack a story? Do you push yourself harder to achieve something new? Discover something new? Learn something new?

I ask my son a few days out of the week the classic daddy question: “What did you learn today?”

It’s completely acceptable to use the excuse of having to create an awesome status update everyday if it pushes you to live more adventurously.

If social media is your reality show, who would watch?