I spent an interesting hour recently with a thoughtful and gifted middle manager in conversation over coffee about the joys and wrinkles of life in her organization. We’ve been meeting periodically for the past two years, with me mostly in the listener role.
Occasionally I offer some advice, but most of the time I just try to listen deeply and hold a mirror up so the person can get closer to the deeper truths within. It’s a meaningful way to enjoy a cup of java, and it’s related to my “deacon” work that seeks to provide encouragement to leaders bringing hope and dignity to the more marginal members of society. In this case, the organization does claim to respond to the needs of some very vulnerable people – the problem, though, is that staff too often get some pretty rough treatment.