Stop Transacting. Start Relating.
A friend told me this story almost thirty years ago, and I’ve never forgotten it.
She was a volunteer, in charge of an upcoming event at her church. In the early stages of planning, her mother died.
A couple of Sundays later, her pastor stopped her in the hallway to ask for an update on the event. With tears brimming, she said, “Well, I’ve fallen a little behind because of my mom’s funeral.”
Without missing a beat, stopping for breath, or gaining any level of self-awareness, the pastor replied, “Oh yeah. I heard about that. Well, keep me posted.” And away he went.
In that moment, a church member was crushed by the insensitivity of her pastor. In that moment, a pastor forfeited an opportunity to care for one of his flock. In that moment, credibility was chipped away and grief was multiplied and a relationship eroded and never quite recovered.
I shudder to think of the times that I’ve inadvertently done something like this: the times I’ve overlooked someone’s pain. The times I’ve forgotten about a significant moment in the life of another. The times that I’ve engaged with people based on what they can do for me vs. the best way I can serve them in the moment.
I get so caught up with what’s happening right now for me that I forget about what’s happening right now for someone else. I get consumed with a checklist and forget to check in. I become very high-task and forget about high-touch.
Leaders, let’s not become so transactional that we forget to be relational. Let’s not forfeit our people for our plans. Let’s not rush headlong into our to-do list and forsake the team we’re doing it alongside.
Let’s stop transacting and start relating.