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Consider the Source

While in high school, I had one particularly influential teacher who would drop little nuggets of life lessons. It wasn’t until I was much older that they began to make sense. For instance, if I shared with him that someone had said something that was hurtful, he would say, “Consider the source.” I never fully understood his meaning, but his intonation spoke to me as if he were saying, “Let it go. Don’t bother with them.” Easy enough to say, but at the ripe old age of 16, it was a bit harder to do.

What seems true to some may not be seen by others.

Fast forward to adulthood with many years in the people business under my belt and “consider the source” had taken on new meaning. If the “source” does not fully understand your position and you do not fully understand theirs, it will always be hard to come to an agreement. Whether you’re speaking to one person or to an auditorium of people you must “consider the source.” Be mindful by understanding and appreciating what they know and do not know.

In other words, meet them where they are and then bring them along. Consider their perspective and their insight on the matter. Your respectful tone of inclusivity and patience will go a long way and you may have a clearer understanding of the whole situation. You have your information and they have theirs. Together a fuller sense of the truth is found.

Having greater awareness of others is an element of servant leadership. Servant leadership is about inspiring people to do noble work bringing out the very best they have to offer. Keeping an open ear and mind will go a long way toward inspiring others.

Do you find yourself or a staff person in one of these situations?

  • Struggling to be heard

  • Uncertain as to why some relationships are confrontational

  • Wrestling with a lack of patience toward a colleague

Contact us to learn other tips on how to make a smooth transition in your communication style, pace, and intention. Simplify Nonprofit offers a straightforward method to finish each interaction with a win for everyone!

Give us a call!

Jo Ann Short


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