How to lose friends and not influence anyone

Marshall Goldsmith is a world-famous executive coach. His main emphasis is that “after you put the technical aspects of business aside, everything else is about people.” He has identified 20 behaviors that will ensure that you lose friends and influence no one. And they are not just true in business but in church and family life too.

1. Winning too much: The need to win at all costs and in all situations. 

2. Adding too much value: The overwhelming desire to add our 2 cents to every discussion. 

3. Passing judgment: The need to rate others and impose our standards on them. 

4. Making destructive comments: The needless sarcasm and cutting remarks that we think make us witty. 

5. Starting with NO, BUT, HOWEVER: The overuse of these negative qualifiers, which secretly say to everyone that I’m right and you’re wrong. 

6. Telling the world how smart we are: The need to show people we’re smarter than they think we are. 

7. Speaking when angry: Using emotional volatility as a management tool. 

8. Negativity, or “Let me explain why that won’t work”: The need to share our negative thoughts even when we weren’t asked. 

9. Withholding information: The refusal to share information in order to maintain an advantage over others. 

10. Failing to give proper recognition: The inability to give praise and reward. 

11. Claiming credit that that we don’t deserve: The most annoying way to overestimate our contributions to any success. 

12. Making excuses: The need to reposition our annoying behavior as a permanent fixture so people excuse us for it. 

13. Clinging to the past: The need to deflect blame away from ourselves and onto events and people from our past; a subset of blaming everyone else. 

14. Playing favorites: Failing to see that we are treating someone unfairly. 

15. Refusing to express regret: The inability to take responsibility for our actions, admit we’re wrong, or recognize how our actions affect others. 

16. Not listening: The most passive-aggressive form of disrespect for colleagues. 

17. Failing to express gratitude: The most basic form of bad manners. 

18. Punishing the messenger: The misguided need to attack the innocent who are usually only trying to help us. 

19. Passing the buck: The need to blame everyone but ourselves. 

20. An excessive need to be “me:” Exalting our faults as virtues simply because they’re who we are.

Goldsmith then gives four ways to start winning friends, influencing everyone and achieving breakthrough measurable results. Click here to read how.

Pastoral Picks (07/29)

I’m so thankful for Nancy Guthrie’s pioneering work in providing Christ-centered Old Testament Bible studies for small groups. You’ll want to visit her new website, Seeing Jesus in the Old Testament.

 Paul Tautges gives us 10 questions to ask before confronting a brother or sister in Christ.

Nine Marks supplies 20 Practical Ways for Pastors to love their wives and families (scratch #15). Or if you want to go the other way here are 25 ways to provoke your children (and probably your wife too) to anger.

Feeling depressed? It may be what you are putting in your mouth. Or it could be Superpastor syndrome. And while we are on the subject, here’s the kind of massively helpful research that’s beginning to surface from the new brain imaging technology. It shows how two different treatment models, talk therapy and drug therapy, affect different parts of the brain.

This could save your marriage. Bob Kellemen on How to (and how not to) say “Sorry!”

If you are preparing a sermon for Sunday, read Writing naked first. Extract: “My best tip is this: buy a cheap digital recorder. Say what you want to say, as if the person you seek to persuade is standing there, listening. Then type that up. Simplify. Send.” (Substitute “Preach”)

How can I develop spiritual discernment? Tim Challies answers:


Should Christians fast?

A few months ago, at the Gospel Coalition Conference in Chicago, along with others I was asked by to give my answers to some of the most common questions that they are asked about Christianity. I’ll post links to some of these videos in the coming days, but here’s the first on whether Christians should fast.