What we practice, we perfect, and what we perfect,
results in wisdom
I confess to you today, I’m a people watcher. I love to watch people.
Years ago my husband and I would get popcorn, grab a bench and watch people. Through these inexpensive days of entertainment, we learned how different people walked, interacted, and behaved with each other and the message they sent to onlookers. Very interesting and entertaining.
Chuck and I would share our observations and in this process, we learned about people and about each other. Quite often he would see something I didn’t see and vise versa. Some of those differences were due to his male view of the behavior. But the more interesting and thought-provoking perspectives were because of our different backgrounds, encounters, and people that influenced our lives. I still look back and smile about those early days living and learning with my dear husband.
Those fun days led me to do a study of body language and behavior when I began to build my business career. The study and mentorship of others equipped me to be a very effective business negotiator.
Know when and how to take a stand at the table.
Knowing when to take a stand during negotiations is the key to a fair and mutually beneficial outcome of the negotiations. Part of being a negotiator is the ability to tell what’s going on across the table.
I was totally confident with anyone no matter the title or experience levels at the table because the learned process of observation and evaluation served me very well in my various corporate roles. I knew when and how to take a stand and not move at the negotiation table.
Taking a stand in one area of life does not always carry over to all areas of life
As strong as I was in the win-win of the negotiation table, taking a stand in relationships was totally different for me. I did not even think I had to position myself to take a stand, after all, they care about me, right?
But, as the years passed and friendships became challenging for me, I realized that I needed to bring the same observation and evaluation process into building strong mutually beneficial friendships. To be honest, it was uncomfortable and hard at first because those skills that served me so well lacked warmth, but as I continued to meld them into the beginning stages of building relationships, it made more and more sense.
The process helped me to sift and sort the purpose of me being in their life and them being in mine. As I did take a stand within me through the process of what was and wasn’t acceptable, the process became more comfortable and my friendships developed with honesty and without warped expectations,
Then I encountered His Servant and learned a new vital type of taking a stand, in Him.
Just like Chuck and I shared those wonderful days of people watching, and then I learned from mentors that encouraged me to grow as a negotiator of fair and equally beneficial outcomes; by God’s love for me and knowing what I needed, I encountered one of His Servants that showed me the greater work of taking a stand spiritually.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7
God gave me the gift of discernment, and the wisdom to know what I see and see what others may not in business behavior. He then showed me that wisdom was the answer to my cry for Godly friendships. When I met His servant she is the one He used to teach me the key to Proverbs 4:7, and with all thy getting get understanding. An understanding was the key.
Don’t seek out those that give sympathy,
but connect with those that show you
the way to make every experience a learning
experience, by getting understanding.
In one of the Bootcamps, Dr. Aikens taught she spoke on “Our stance in God is our Standing in Him”, with the definition of our stance as the attitude or position of a soldier moving forward in action. The understanding I received that day was that I needed to have a mental, physical, relationship and spiritual standing to stand in the day of adversity or hard times, which will surely come.
As I left that day, my understanding of taking a stand was lifted to a higher level and it gave me what I had been seeking. Here are the standings that I have adapted and they have served me even better than that which I walked in as a business negotiator.
- Mental standing – the attitude of readiness.
- the state of being willing and prepared to take wise action.
- Physical standing – being an observer of behaviors.
- this is the utilization of observation and behaviors of others.
- Relationship standing – embrace without expectations.
- this is building relationships not on what you get, but what you give.
- Spiritual standing – confidence in Who goes before you and covers behind you.
- this is understanding whose you are and how He loves and knows you.
All of these standings or “stances” are rooted and grounded in His Word. This scripture became alive for me as I learned more about the power God gives us to stand.
Be on guard; stand firm in your faith [in God, respecting His precepts and keeping your doctrine sound]. Act like [mature] men and be courageous; be strong. 1 Corinthians 16:13 (Amp)
Know this, we take a stand even when we do not purpose too. No action is a stance just as much as an intentional stand. We either take the stand for what is righteous and of good report, or we will take a stand to let life just happen and become a victim to the hard or difficult times of life.
Although I learned to take a stand in business, I did not know I could in matters of the heart and the spirit. As wisdom increased in my life, I gained understanding by learning of the stance I can take spiritually which is the foundation of my life.
We all will need to take standings as we create a well-crafted legacy. Take them with wisdom and understanding, which is our safety and the security of His grace and favor on our life.
To learn more about these lessons learned, check the podcast below where I share the stories of walking with His Servant in Walking with an Apostle, His Servant, Dr. Audrey Aikens.