December 19, 2011 Tony Morgan

People Pleasers and Taskmasters

“People pleasing is generally less about pleasing and more about fending off the rejection and disappointment of others.” –Nellie Akalp is CEO of

I think we are susceptible to two extremes. In the first extreme, we can be so focused on the tasks in ministry that we really don’t care what people think about our actions. For those of us in that camp, our focus is the cause. We’ll do whatever it takes to accomplish the mission…even if it’s offensive to people around us.

In the second extreme, we can be so focused on the people that pleasing those around us becomes our mission. For those of us in that camp, our focus is the people. We’ll do whatever it takes to keep people happy…even if it jeopardizes our mission.

Obviously, both extremes are unhealthy. There’s a tension in the middle that we need to embrace. Ms. Akalp offers some specific recommendations for helping people pleasers find a healthier perspective. She challenges us to:

  • Recognize the difference between being generous and wanting to avoid conflict and disappointing others.
  • Actively manage people’s expectations.
  • Be brief and meaningful when communicating (especially when delegating or responding to a request).
Check out the full article on Mashable for additional wisdom that Ms. Akalp shares on this topic. What recommendations would you offer for people who wrestle with the other extreme of focusing on the mission to the neglect of the people involved? Join the conversation by sharing your comment.

Tony Morgan

Tony is the Founder and Lead Strategist of The Unstuck Group. Started in 2009, The Unstuck Group has served 500 churches throughout the United States and several countries around the world. Previously, Tony served on the senior leadership teams of three rapidly growing churches including NewSpring Church in South Carolina. He has five published books including, The Unstuck Church, and, with Amy Anderson, he hosts The Unstuck Church Podcast which has thousands of listeners each month.

Comment (1)

  1. This is so true, Tony. I gravitate toward the people-pleasing end of the spectrum, but I’m very familiar with the task-oriented style as well. It seems like it would be helpful to have someone active in whatever dialogue is happening who could just ask some questions and get the task-oriented folks and people-pleasers to step outside of themselves and see if their wiring is running the show or if they could be encouraged to see things from another perspective.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking post!

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