Although it is sometime since the “Iron Curtain” came down the legacy of communist command and control and the fears that it instilled linger on. It has a stifling effect on confidence, leadership and creativity for many who were brought up to think and behave in the required ways.
Sharing the gospel is inherently on the edge and about taking new ground and this oppressive background was severely inhibiting an Eastern European mission agency. They were overly quiet, exhibiting little in the way of healthy discussion and decision making. The legacy of the previous era left them fearful of breaking the mold and standing out.
A specific people centred intervention was undertaken with them team, in the form of training and coaching, to enable them to develop self awareness, build their self-esteem and regain their voice – in reality perhaps to claim their voice for the first time. This is the goal of Christ-centred servant leadership: to enable people to develop confidence, to have an opinion and to be able to express that opinion effectively and respectfully. It is also about people developing the ability to say “no” and to maturely discuss differences and disagreements; all of which are vital to healthy decision making and in turn progress and achievement
A side-benefit of coaching is that it is possible to see and monitor progress. The members of this team are now different people. They are confident, able to work through issues together, determine appropriate solutions and make effective decisions. One particular person in the team, a university graduate, was previously very timid and quiet. They have become a very effective office manger for the organisation dealing not only with the local staff but working internationally too.