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.
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Tony Morgan

Tony is the Chief Strategic Officer and founder of The Unstuck Group, For 14 years, Tony served on the senior leadership teams at West Ridge Church (Dallas, GA), NewSpring Church (Anderson, SC) and Granger Community Church (Granger, IN). He's written several books and articles that have been featured with the Willow Creek Association, Catalyst and
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