STEP TWO: Influence - Use it!

Philemon 9b-10 It is as none other than Paul--an old man and now also a prisoner of Christ Jesus-- that I appeal to you for my son Onesimus, who became my son while I was in chains.

2.Communicate your needs in the language of the other's needs.

Onesimus, the runaway slave, appears on the doorstep of Philemon. He was caught and became a prisoner who deserved punishment. These were the thoughts and perhaps the perspective of Philemon.

Paul, in his letter, now uses the same "prisoner” language to talk about himself. Paul, like Onesimus, is a prisoner twice over of the Romans and God. Paul talks to Philemon in the same language as Philemon is thinking.

If a parishioner is complaining about the leadership not being open to using his gifts, you could respond with the language of giftsfrom Romans 12 and 1 Corinthians 12.

Romans 12:6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us ...

1 Corinthians 12:6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well ...

Or let's say that my wife is complaining to me that she feels like an unpaid maid in our household. But let's say that I also feel unappreciated for all the work that I do at the church. We both feel the same. How should I respond?

First, I need to listen to her, or nothing good is going to happen. After listening and actively trying to understand her, I can then offer to do whatever it is that would help her feel better about the whole situation. When it is finally my turn to express how I feel, I should use the same language that she used. I might say something like how I feel the family sees me as an unnecessary butler, not the owner of the house.

Why is this important? It shows you have been listening. When people use metaphors to describe how they feel, they are into that metaphor world. Why not join them in that world rather than trying to get them to leave their metaphor world to enter a brand new one?

A metaphor is a figure of speech in which a word or phrase is applied to an object or action that it does not literally denote in order to imply a resemblance; for example, he is a lion in battle.

Everyone speaks their unique language, and if you hope to influence friends and tactfully get along with people, you have to learn the other's language. You have to come to the negotiation table knowing each person has their own perspectives, needs, and expectations.

Okay, easy enough. But here is what makes this difficult. Sometimes people say one thing, but they mean something else. They use one language, but they mean another.

A parishioner makes a comment about the color of the new carpet I am promoting at church, and I naively think we are talking about the carpet. But what she is talking about is that her sense of belonging and personal significance took a beating when no one sought out her opinion on this matter.

My wife complains that I left the cupboard door open, but she is really saying that she feels unappreciated and taken for granted.

A friend jokes that you are never on time, but what he is really saying is that he feels disrespected by you when you are late - as if his time is somehow less valuable than yours.

Philemon owned Onesimus and then lost him. He probably felt like someone stole Onesimus from him. Paul understands this, but he wants Philemon to know that if Philemon takes Onesimus back, Paul, the old man with the needs of an old man, will feel like someone stole Onesimus from him as well.

Onesimus was meeting the needs of Paul in Rome. Maybe you have a potential conflict situation. Try to see things from their perspective before saying yours.

Each person in a conflict has their unique way of seeing the situation. And both parties must learn and appreciate the other's perspective if they hope to find a solution.



Why do you think Paul mentions that he is an old man?

Why do people use metaphors to describe how they feel about a situation?

In order to communicate your needs in the language of the other's needs, you must first listen and try to understand the other's needs. Why is this hard to do?

Can you give an example of how you recently did not first listen to the needs of the other before you communicated your needs?

Why don't we often have the patience to listen to the needs of the other person before communicating our needs?

On the positive side: Why is it that people are more willing to try and understand your needs only after you have demonstrated a desire to understand their needs?

What person in your life do you need to spend more time listening to?

Última modificación: lunes, 13 de agosto de 2018, 09:07