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RESOURCE CENTER AND ARCHIVES

Be consistent when interacting with otherscomment (0)

January 5, 2012

By Jean Roberson


My first job out of seminary was … interesting. I was the coordinator of a homeless prevention program, supervising six case managers.

It would be an understatement to say I didn’t know what I was doing!

While I had my education, I did not know the issues that contributed to homelessness in that community. I did not know the partners we worked with. I did not know the agency I now worked for and the six women I was supervising. I sat down in my office that first day and thought, “Now what?”

I remember very clearly the first team meeting I held with the case managers.

They were nice but they looked at me with as much uncertainty as I looked at them.

They did not know who I was or if I had anything to offer them. Plus they were all considerably older and more experienced than I was!

So what do you do when you are new to something and not sure where to start?

What is the first thing you do when overwhelmed by people and tasks? What do you do when you doubt your own ability?

I think one step can be found in Scripture.

Malachi 3:6 states, “I, the Lord, do not change.” And Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  

When we read those Scriptures, there is some measure of peace that comes. There is some comfort in knowing that God is consistent.

Perhaps that is because so much around us changes. Perhaps it is because people in our lives are inconsistent.

Regardless there is something comforting about consistency and knowing God is always the same.

Have you ever had a teacher or supervisor who was inconsistent?

One day, something you said would please her, but the next day, the same statement would anger her.

My reaction to this was to clam up and keep my distance.

However, a teacher or boss who was pretty consistent in manner and expectations helped me be more proactive and willing to be honest about my thoughts and feelings. So what do you do when you are overwhelmed and not sure what to do first?

What do you do when you doubt your own ability? Try being consistent in how you interact with people. I did not know those six case managers, but I could be consistent in my support of them, my honesty about what I did and did not know and my expectations of them.

The funny thing I discovered was that they were much more interested in my attitude toward them and my consistency in how I related to them than they were in my lack of knowledge.  

So what new thing are you tackling? What is overwhelming you? Are you being consistent with people or are you being short-tempered?

A Takeaway Value …
When you are trying to work your way through new things, be consistent in how you interact with people. It will get you farther than you think!

EDITOR’S NOTE — Jean Roberson, MSW, LCSW, is a ministry consultant for national Woman’s Missionary Union. She serves as team leader for the adult team and director of Christian Women’s Job Corps/Christian Men’s Job Corps and International Initiatives.

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