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