In the first post, I gave 5 tips for having great meetings from the side of the person seeking out the advice. But what if you are the person that is having your brain picked? There are a few things that you can do not only help the conversation, but also make an investment in the life and ministry of that person.
1. Be available
No matter how successful a leader becomes, they should always carve out time for younger/newer leaders. I understand how incredibly busy schedules can become, but there are creative ways to invest in other leaders. Create a coaching group that meets over a 2 year time frame. Occasionally offer last minute lunches for anyone that get there. Set aside 2 days a month where that time is specifically designated for a younger leader on your staff. When you are not available, suggest a staff member that is knowledgeable in their field.
2. Be vulnerable
It’s easy to always fall back on the successes for examples, but the best lessons come from the failures. My brother, Greg, has always said that “if we can serve you by at least being an example of what not to do…” Failures make you human and relatable. That’s why we can sometimes come out of a church conference more depressed than when we went in. We have spent 3 days seeing only the raging successes. We want to to see the good and the ugly.
3. Ask questions
The point where a leader decides that they can no longer learn from anyone else, is the point when they should retire to a beach somewhere. It’s important to be open to learning as much from them as they do from you. Don’t make it a one sided conversation. Look for the opportunities to ask how they are innovating.
4. Don’t yuck their yum
We have a saying at my house that whenever someone disses someone’s else’s favorite food, they are “yucking my yum.” When you feel like you have been there done that, it’s easy to be dismissive about someone else’s enthusiasm. I once had a conversation with a more established leader, and when they found out what I was attempting to do, they brushed it off with, “I’m so glad that I am not doing that anymore!” I was crushed. Young leaders need people that believe in them and their dreams. Don’t yuck their yum. 🙂
5. Actually pray for them
The easy thing to say at the end of a meeting like this is “I will be praying for you.”, but how many times do we actually do that? I like to keep business cards of people that I meet with so when I see it, I remember to say a quick prayer for them and their ministry. Commit to keep them covered with prayer.