August 20, 2019

Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind. This is sage leadership wisdom that author Brene Brown repeats often in her book, Dare to Lead. (Check out Brene’s blog here.)

The same is true in neighboring. The best Neighboring Volunteers are clear. Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind. A Neighboring Volunteer can be clear and kind with a statement like, “I love you. I know you are hurting. And I think your kids are also hurting right now too.” A family facing homelessness can also be clear and kind by saying something like this to a Neighboring Volunteer, “I hear your concern about my job. I want you to know I’m aware of the risk of leaving this position before being offered the new job.”

It’s true in parenting too. The 13 year old who is mad at her friend for breaking confidence with a secret needs to remember that “Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.” A clear message to her friend that she is sad that confidence was broken is much better than back-stabbing comments and the silent treatment.

This month our network affiliate directors received complimentary copies of Brene Brown’s book “Dare to Lead” – thanks to one of our amazing supporters who cares about building strong leaders.  We are all learning that when we are clear with others, we are being kind, and building a culture that reflects our values of following Jesus, embracing the church and choosing hope.

Being clear isn’t comfortable or easy. Clear is kind can lead to the best type of “rumble.” Brene says that a rumble is “a discussion, conversation, or meeting defined by a commitment to lean into vulnerability, to stay curious and generous, to stick with the messy middle of problem identification and solving, to take a break and circle back when necessary…”

We are called to lead with courage and leading with courage means leaning in and being clear. Clear is kind. Unclear is unkind.

Like leadership, it takes courage to be a Neighboring Volunteer – and neighboring is often full of surprises. (check out Denise’s story)

Here’s to courage in both leading and neighboring,

Edith Yoder
Executive Director

Click here to view entire August eNews.