Addressing Leaders Openly and Compassionately
(Influence by Chidi Okoye)
There’s a variety of ward Mothers Day gifts out there. From potted petunias to See’s candy bars to controversial booklets, Mothers Day gifts from the bishopric to the women of the ward run the gamut.
Here’s a hypothetical situation. As a ward Mothers Day gift, you have received a GA talk in booklet form that you find problematic. Rather than focusing on inspiring stories of women, it goes off on anti-gay, anti-evolution, anti-working mother, and anti-birth control tangents.
What do you do?
I’ve spent some time thinking about situations like this. I’ve recently resolved to openly but compassionately address my leaders when I’m particularly distressed by something. I feel like this is an important way to sustain and respect my leaders. But I still wonder what the very best and most compassionate way to do this is. Do you talk in person? Do you write? Do you spend a lot of time affirming and thanking them for the time they spend on their callings before delving into the problem? Do you offer alternative suggestions?
I don’t think I’ve got it all figured out yet, but here are some ideas:
1.) Realize that it’s not within my ability to fix my leader, but it is within my ability to let him/her know how I feel.
2.) Remember to be humble. Just because something bothers me, it doesn’t mean that it bothers everyone
3.) Even if the leader has really dropped the ball on something, try to give him/her the benefit of the doubt. Assume he or she had the best of intentions. Realize they’ve got a lot on their plates.
Do you approach leaders when something is bothering you on a ward level? Why or why not? How do you do it? Leaders, do you appreciate it when people come to you with concerns? How would you like people to approach problems like this?