Have you overheard women playing The Comparison Game? It sounds something like this:
“I’m not creative like my sister. Give her twigs and twine, and…”
“I’m not organized like my neighbor. Inside her kitchen cupboards…”
“I’m not motivated like my mother. She’s always starting new…”
“I’m not patient like my best friend. Nothing upsets her, no matter…”
This game trivializes the fact that we are all created with different personalities and talents. When we become Christians, God gives us specific spiritual gifts to glorify Him. As a leader, you're in a position to help woman discover and develop their God-given Personality strengths.
1) Be a Role Model.
You don't need to put yourself up on a pedestal. But when you decide not to play the The Comparison Game, women in your circle of influence will be less likely to get caught up in the "I'm not ____ like ____" trap, too.
As you share how you’re discovering and developing your own strengths, they will feel free to follow your lead, even though their strengths may be very different than yours.
2) Be a Positive Mirror.
If you could listen in to the self-talk going on in women’s minds, you'd likely be shocked and saddened. Too many women relentlessly beat themselves up for their short-comings while minimizing their accomplishments.
As a leader, you can make observations that help women identify and believe in their strengths:
“You are so funny!”
“Your organization skills are amazing!”
“You sure take initiative!”
“You are so supportive!”
You may feel silly stating the obvious. But never underestimate the power of reflecting a woman’s strengths back to her. Your words may be just what she needs to believe that she really does have the gift of humor, organization, initiative, or support.
3) Be a Willing Partner.
One of the great strategies a leader can use with any Personality is to ask for help, especially in an area of strength and gifting:
Years ago, I asked my father how I would know if a particular ability was a “gift.” He taught me to ask three questions:
As a leader, you have the unique ability to put women in situations where they can discover the answers to these three questions and develop their gifts. Women thrive when they walk in their own giftedness, and so do the ministries they serve in. We facilitate a win-win when we help others quit playing The Comparison Game and, instead, serve according to their strengths!
What strengths/gifts do you see in a woman you lead? How might you be a role model, a positive mirror, and/or a willing partner for this woman?
Engaging, entertaining, and enthusiastic, Cheri Gregory connects women to the transforming power of God’s love. A story-teller extraordinaire, Cheri draws from Scripture and personal experiences that resonate with women’s frustrations, fears and failures, bringing hope that they are not alone and inspiring courage that they can grow beyond their circumstances.
Cheri, herself, was raised in what appeared to be the “perfect Christian home.” As a child, compensating for underlying family issues, she strove to be the perfect “good little girl.” As a teenager, reacting to her older brother’s drug addiction, she nearly lost her life to eating disorders. Cheri identifies with those who are burdened, and offers hope for the transformation possible through the renewing power of God’s rescuing love.
A Certified Personality Trainer and CLASS* Faculty Member, Cheri has written numerous magazine articles and drama scripts and is featured in Wired That Way: the Complete Personality Plan by Marita Littauer.
Married since 1988 to her opposite Personality, Daniel, a pastor, teacher, and musician, Cheri is a high school English teacher and the mother of two college-age kids (who are also opposite Personalities): Annemarie and Jonathon.
(*Christian Leaders Authors and Speakers Services)