Flexibility & Versatility: Keys to Ministry Success
There are two factors which determine how effective people will be in adjusting their style to meet the needs of others. First, flexibility refers to the attitudinal factor in our actions. It indicates our degree of willingness to change our behaviour when appropriate. Secondly, versatility is a behavioural life skill factor in our actions. It indicates our degree of ability to change our behaviour when appropriate.
When we discuss “changing” it is important to remember that flexibility and versatility do NOT mean that we try to become different people. These factors do not suggest that we give up our true identity. They simply mean that to build mutually satisfying relationships, we voluntarily and temporarily adjust our behaviour to meet other people’s needs.
Most people simply need an accurate understanding of another person’s behavioural style and distinctives. Then if they are willing to make adjustments in their behaviour, and also have the ability to do so, a higher degree of mutual understanding and co-operation will ensue.
Others may be able, but are not willing. For some reason, (possibly a lack of respect and/or trust) they are unwilling to make the necessary commitment to develop relational maturity, and, the relationship moves toward isolation and a feeling of emotional “distance”.
Still others may be willing, but are not able. It may be something in their background (emotional immaturity and/or lack of social skills) that is preventing them from moving to relational maturity. People with lower versatility may be seen as doing things out of their own self-interest, behaving in ways that are only comfortable for them.
Remember, our ultimate goals are to:
- Become aware of the needs of others
- Understand how we can better meet those needs
- Change or modify our natural way of doing things to enhance an environment of mutual understanding and co-operation.
Colin is the Director of ResourceZone International, a ministry that publishes a wide range of quality resources. Colin is responsible for the research and development side of this ministry. He is a recognized authority in areas like coaching, leadership development, team building, church health and growth and multiplication movements. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org