This is bigger than just a volunteer thing, but since this is a Children’s Ministry blog, I figured I’d position this idea from that perspective.
You’ll never truly see life through the eyes of someone different from you. You may get a glimpse every now and again, but you’ll never get it. I have many friends who are introverts and I try my best to wrap my mind around why they do what they do and I’ve found that the best I can do is appreciate their difference and that’s a good step.
A few weeks ago I had my good friend Jonathan Cliff speak at our Winter Camp and I had to figure out his accommodations. We had two buildings where I was putting leaders who weren’t leading groups of kids. One building was a giant house with four huge rooms that slept 8 people each. The other building was a cool barn like building with private suites. Because my family was coming, I was booked in the barn. Since Jonathan was on his own, I put him in the big house in a room with seven other guys. I figured that if I my family wasn’t coming, I would have been in the big house. I had it all figured out.
We got to camp and I was getting Jonathan settled, he very politely asked if there were any other rooming options. I told him that we had quite a few options, but most of what we had left were in a really cool building, but pretty far removed from the rest of camp. I hadn’t even considered it because my only thought was, “who would want to be so removed from all the action.” At the mere mention of the word “remote,” Jonathan said – “I’ll take it!” When camp was over, Jonathan sent me some highly valuable feedback. He was so grateful for the opportunity to have space to himself. Space to think, to sleep and to be alone. He encouraged me to make that an option for future speakers. This was just a reminder to me that I still don’t get it… because I’m an extrovert who thinks and plans like an extrovert.
I’m still learning this, but I thought I’d throw this out there. You have volunteers on your team that are very different from you. Some of them cringe at your meetings when you make them do that thing to “get the party started.” Others wish you would spice things up a little.
Some good advice for us all is to clearly understand how we are wired and figure out how to appreciate the people we lead who are different. Don’t try to change them. Appreciate them.
Below is a great chart for both of us. As an extrovert, I COMPLETELY identify with the extroversion side. It’s what I wish every introvert knew about what will help me thrive. I assume that the introverts out there identify with the introversion side. I’m trying to learn what will help the introverts I lead thrive.
I always want to give credit where credit is due. I’ve done a google image search and it appears this image has been borrowed and reposted so many times, I don’t know where it originated. So, if anyone knows where it came from, I’ll happily link there.
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