Avoiding conflict is not always a bad thing but there is always a battle between ‘making life easy’ and having those conversations that are necessary for an individual’s growth.
If 2 people fall out, rather than seek to put right behaviour, we will seek to cover over the problem with a well worded apology that carries little meaning. We become satisfied with 2nd best and miss an opportunity for growth.
If we avoid the behaviour change, we will just store up the problem for a later date. Getting it sorted early is more beneficial for everyone. It may involve an apology but any apology must be one from the heart that carries behaviour change and must never be used to prevent a deeper work of correction and improvement.
Having worked for a number of charities, it is interesting to observe the changes as a fledgling charity grows to maturity. Often, a new charity is focussed on people and the transformation/s that occur in peoples lives, it brings life, encourages others to participate and there is a real sense of ownership. However, in time, it is possible that significant shifts may occur, shifts that seem insignificant but in time will move the charity from a focus on transformation to one of production.
For example, a youth charity may begin by impacting the lives of young people and with success there may be dreams of meeting more young people, in order to help and support them. It makes sense to meet them in a place where they spend most time, school. This approach is good, makes sense and is fruitful. However, it does not take too long before the measure of success becomes, how many lessons have been taken, how many assemblies, how many lunch clubs. Whilst these things are not wrong, it does show a shift from transformation to production. A slight move from the centre will impact the place of destination – the measure has moved from how many lives are transformed to the place of how many activities we do, so that we may transform lives. This is a subtle but significant difference.
The same change can be seen in any labour of love as it grows and develops, as others join the cause and as funders seek to make ‘a bigger bang for their buck’ – the question we need to concentrate on is, which is most important, transformation or production?
as youthworkers we can have tremendous confidence in our young people, their families and our teams. It is not always so easy to have the same confidence in ourselves. A critical word, a harsh comment, errors and mistakes can lay us low, assault our senses and leave us crushed and in despair. More often than not we are left with a false impression because we have allowed the molehill to become a mountain.
Remember – you will make mistakes, you will get it wrong, you will screw up once in a while. That’s life, it does not mean you are finished.
Have confidence in yourself, a right understanding of your ability, learn to love yourself appropriately. Be confident that you are capable of many things – you are not a failure because you have failed. Learn to have confidence in yourself.