Session 4: Competency

Session 4: Online

Date: March 20

Time: Complete by Sunday

Session Instructions:

  1. WATCH – the session videos below
  2. RESPOND – to the three questions in the comment section below.


The servant-leader strives to understand and empathize with others. People need to be accepted and recognized for their special and unique spirits. One assumes the good intentions of co-workers and colleagues and does not reject them as people, even when one may be forced to refuse to accept certain behaviors or performance.

Reading: Greenleaf: pgs 33-35

To increase your competence you need direction and to build commitment you need support.

Reading: Blanchard: pgs 65-80

Bad attitudes on the team spread faster than positive ones – discuss times when your bad attitude has affected your team.

Reading: Maxwell: pgs 103-116


Answer each of the questions below in the comment section.

VIDEO #1: Spiritual Leadership – What is one way you can practice empathy to someone you lead this week?

VIDEO #2: Self Leadership – Select one area of your leadership and identify where you are on the competency/commitment continuum.

VIDEO #3: Peer Leadership – How can you apply the “Law of the Bad Apple” to your own attitude this week?

  • Ruth Eliana Cleveland-Mott

    I need to learn to listen better so that I can be higher on the continuum than I am right now. I think I have to be better at being a good servant so I can be a good leader.

  • Barb Sartin

    Spiritual Leadership: Empathy: This week I will show empathy to my leader and to my team. My leader has much responsibility at TFH and I see and understand this. I know from experience what it is like to have so much resting on my shoulders. I understand and will do what I can to help him. One of my team members has children and outside commitments that make it impossible for her to stay until all the work is done. She feels bad about this but I can assure her that I do understand that she must leave. I will emphasize how good her work is and how much I appreciate her.
    Self Leadership: My area of leadership is Environmental Care, making sure that the “House” is kept clean. I am very serious about what I do and how I do it. I will do whatever it takes to make sure that the job gets done, time, energy, sacrifice. I love the “House” because it is “God’s House”. On the Competency/Commitment Continuum I am at D4. At home, I have a D4 level of competency but different things can affect my level of commitment at times. For example, I take care of the family bookkeeping and know where the money goes that comes in to the house. I am very meticulous and organized. Every now and then something totally unexpected comes along, and my level of commitment momentarily declines. I feel like I just don’t want to do this anymore. It is brief, I pray about it, get back on track and my commitment level rises. When reading this, I also thought about changes in technology that may affect a person’s competency in their job, lets say. They could have been a D4 Competency and slip back to a D3. If commitment is high then the person will get trained to master the new requirement to be back at the D4. (Just a thought)
    Peer Leadership: “Law of the Bad Apple”….I know at times I will say negative things about cleaning “bathrooms” to my Leader. I know if I express these negative things to those I lead, I will affect them and how they will respond to me. I will check this attitude, because I truly like a clean bathroom and am committed to making them clean, the condition of them before cleaning is why I clean them. I will keep this in mind.

  • Bobby Hill

    Spiritual Leadership: Watching Denis Johnson teaching us about how on leaders should demostrate empathy to someone they lead in this video made me realized that even though I don’t have a team to lead at the Father’s House and don’t have a leadership position at work, I can show empathy to my co-workers , not only saying ” I am with you”,and by working with them to get their job done.
    Self Leadership: At work, my boss has told me time and time again that he admires my work ethic, how knowledgeable I am, the passion I take in doing a job and the energy and commitment I have to do it with consistency. I guess I am a D3 striving to be a D4.
    Peer Leadership: By using the ” Law of the Bad Apple”, I can be more aware whether or not if I am doing my part while I am working as a team player and not the leader. Also, if the group fails and the leader comes to me to ask why, I will apologize to him/her, assure them it will not happen again and get the team together to fix the problem.

  • Tina Salmon

    Video one what is one way I can practice empathy to someone this week originally I thought this is what I do everyday at work because that’s what I do I have to practice empathy and if I look at it that way at work im a D4. it’s something I do with something I know it’s something that I’m competent in but at church I might be a D2 in regards to The Prayer Ministry where I’m at where I need to be where we are is a Prayer Ministry we need to reset our goals and we need to jump in. God is giving me some new responsibilities over the team and I need to pray and not being in fear but know that the responsibility that God has given me is a real important one. realizing in video 3 how can I apply the law bad apple to my own life this week at work I need to remember that although I believe iam a D4 for there’s always room for growth so keeping an open mind and do not become too complacent because although I may not have a bad attitude it could be perceived as one by those who I lead at work. They do not need to see that they need to see that I can be empathetic with them as they are learning. So I kind of just took everything I learned tonight and wrap it all up. Please pray with me that the things I do the things I say bring honor and glory to God

  • Natasha Collins

    Spiritual Leadership: I can practice empathy this week by listening and not assuming that I have to have an answer or a solution for the person, but just being available to listen.
    Self-Leadership: One area of my leadership is being a Linked leader. I am currently on D1; Low competence, High commitment as I am new to the role, but am very excited to see what God will do in the lives of the ladies I am currently “leading” through me. I am still trying to wrap my head around the fact that I do possess the qualities of a leader! 🙂
    Peer Leadership: I will apply the “Law of the Bad Apple” to my attitude this week at work as the team I am on is going through a lot of changes. I will not complain,but make every attempt to help my co-workers to see the brighter side of the changes instead of assisting in focusing on the bad/negative.

    • Angela Tozer

      My team at work is facing major changes, too. Our positions will cease and all of us have to apply for the new ones being created. With so much uncertainty, I have heard many complaints. So, I can totally relate to what you are saying. On page 36, Maxwell said, “to grow, you must be willing to change.” I realized that the best way to deal with the upcoming changes is to see it as opportunity for growth, opportunity to do even more than I am doing now. I love what you said because we do need to be the catalysts that make the good attitudes happen.

      • Natasha Collins

        Exactly Angela! It is so easy to complain, but is very hard to change. I love what you said about seeing changes as an opportunity for growth, as this is confirmation from what the Holy Spirit gave to me in the beginning stages of the transformation of our team.

  • Deborah Cline

    #1 I can practice empathy by listening and just being with someone instead of assuming I know the answer and trying to help them fix the problem.
    #2 I am currently anchoring in NEXT, but am working on transitioning to teaching. I feel like I am at a D2 or D3 for the teaching part. I believe I can do it but I am having a hard time stepping out to to the requirements that I need to complete before stepping into the new role.
    #3 I can realize how my bad attitude is only the tip of the iceberg and dig deeper to discover the root of the issue instead of just the reaction.

  • Kathy Algarin

    Video 1. I have been listening to a friend recently who is going through a very hard time right now. In the beginning I did have empathy for her because I went through a similar situation years ago. So, it was not hard to do that. But as time went on and she continued sharing with me and after listening to the video, I realize I was showing less empathy and tying to get her to look at things spiritually and what God may be doing. But her response back to me was not a positive response. In fact maybe a bit offended. They were not ready for a spiritual awakening. They were still in the empathy zone. Everyone is different when they go through something. They don’t grow at the same pace that I may grow. I need to step back with each individual and allow empathy to work its way through til they are ready to move to the next step in their situation.
    Video 2. I am on D2 level. Depends on where I am at with whatever God is trying to get me to do
    Video 3. My attitude at home in everyday life. With family, friends and church. Speaking more positive into people’s lives.

  • Angela Tozer

    VIDEO #1: Spiritual Leadership – What is one way you can practice empathy to someone you lead this week?

    A member of my team has multiple health problems that have limited her ability to live as fully as she would like. She is recovering from surgery and it has been a long recovery process. Although I never have had the magnitude of health challenges she has, I have been through surgery and can show empathy to her by expressing my understanding and making her feel she isn’t alone in what she is going through. I want her to know that I care about her and the challenges she is experiencing.

    In my job, I meet with students regularly, and the greatest way I can show empathy is to listen and withhold judgment. That is not always easy to do. So, as I listen, I can gain an understanding of a student’s perspective and ask questions to learn more about each person’s unique story. Then I can be empathetic by accepting their uniqueness and letting them know I support them for who they are.

    VIDEO #2: Self Leadership – Select one area of your leadership and identify where you are on the competency/commitment continuum.

    Overall, I would say I am at a D3 level in my current positions at church and work. I have been in both positions for about 5 months, which have definitely taken me through D1 and D2. Sometimes it is easy to slip back to D2 when I hit a small wall and feel less competent or frustrated. Looking through this continuum though is great; it helps me recognize and acknowledge that I want to move forward, not backwards, which will help me progress.

    VIDEO #3: Peer Leadership – How can you apply the “Law of the Bad Apple” to your own attitude this week?

    I am trying to keep the Pollyanna attitude of always “looking for the good in people (and situations), and finding it.” It is easy to give into the flesh and be critical. So, when I need an attitude adjustment, I will dive more into the Scriptures to get back on track as quickly as possible.

  • Rebekah Lewin

    Practicing Empathy – one of my co-workers has close family members who are soon to be moving out of state. I sense that she is struggling with this transition and I will find ways to actively listen, encourage her to share her feelings, and let her know that I am available to support her
    Self Leadership – I am between 3/4 quadrant at work – For many routine daily issues, it’s a 4, but in the areas where it is a 3, it’s mostly due to staffing changes in the senior leadership team (my bosses) and needing clarity on direction for new initiatives.
    Peer Leadership – I know that I need help with my attitude and how it can impact my family, particularly when we are trying to rush out of the house in the morning to get to school and work. My ability to set an example and lead with a positive, uplifting attitude can carry the day and get us all started in the right direction. I pray that the Holy Spirit will get my attention quickly when I am off-track so that I can adjust.

  • Casandra Schisler-Boehlke

    Video 1: One way I can practice empathy is with my oldest son. Sometimes I have many demands of things I expect from him being the oldest, and I realize I need to stop and think what is it like to be my kid right now? Stoop down to his level and see things his way for a minute and find the root of the problem, before continuing to list off my expectations.
    Video 2: as a small group leader I found that I am on level D3, capable but cautious performer, which surprised me. I remember crossing from D1 to D 2 when I started off super excited yet naive regarding how much I would have to sacrifice, then from D2 to D3 once I decided quitting wasn’t what I wanted yet I had to admit I needed help and something had to change if this group were to keep going, now at D3 I realize I have overcome many barriers and feel more capable yet still cautious bc i still have lots to learn.
    Video 3: since I am not a morning person yet have kids who are I tend to be grumpy when woken up. I see how my attitude affects my kids negatively. I can ask God for help to get up before them and that way welcome them with joy and also to give me grace when I can’t get up early to not to be selfish with my bad attitude for their sake. A prayer of thanksgiving also helps set my perspective straight.

  • Kimberely Washington

    Video 1: One thing that stands out to me is that acceptance requires tolerance of imperfection. Having empathy being accepting go hand in hand and I think I struggle the most with being empathetic to those who I do not tolerate well or with situations I do not tolerate. I am going to practice empathy with my husband and kids. There are situations that happen daily where I do not understand and am not empathetic with them. I need to understand how they feel when I am spouting off my expectations and requirements.
    Video 2: I am part of NEXT now. I am currently in the first level, or the “enthusiastic beginner” stage. I am very excited. In reflecting on previous areas of leadership, I see how I would go through D1 and D2 fairly easily. I remember questioning if I should quit by wondering if the time and effort were worth it. Where I faltered was D3 because the variable commitment makes me question my ability and competence.
    Video 3: Personally, the most profound part of the reading for me was reading that a negative attitude hurts the person with it. I know a bad attitude can affect my day, but what is it really doing to me? I want to identify two things that cause me to have a bad attitude and affect those around me. I know that if I can identify them, I can work to change my attitude.

  • Juan-Carlos Rivera

    1. I can practice empathy by being more willing to listen to the struggles of the people I work with rather than say they are turning molehills into mountains.
    2. I lead a table at freeway men’s gathering and I would definitely say I’m D1. I’m reading a lot of online resources and doing reflections on how to improve so that I can push myself to D4 because I’m very glad that they gave me the opportunity and I really want to make sure I knock it out of the park.
    3. I have to remember to give grace and mercy because grace and mercy were given to me.

  • Charlene Carley

    Video 1: I can practice empathy this week by caring for and praying for my friend, who is struggling with depression. I can be a good listener, as she expresses
    her feelings, and can take whatever practical measures she needs to help her through this season.

    Video 2: I am a home group Connect leader and feel I’m at the D3 stage. I have been a Connect leader for 5 years and love it just as much now as I did 5
    years ago. My commitment is high and my competence is moderate. I started out as a D1, very enthusiastic, with low competence. I still have a lot to learn,
    but am thankful that my competence has increased over time.

    Video 3: I am not a morning person and am, therefore, very quiet until I “warm up” in the morning. When I think about it from my co-workers perspective,
    I realize they probably see me as being grumpy when I come to work. I need to change my perspective and view each day as a blessing, one more day
    to rejoice in the Lord. Just thinking about it this way makes me smile!

  • Rebecca Storto

    #1 I can practice empathy by not judging someone and trying to say all the right things to make them feel better. I will not try to fix it but instead listen, let them know I am there for them, love them for where they are in the moment.
    #2 I am at a D1 to be honest. I am a linked leader. I have low competence and high commitment. I need to dig deeper and find a mentor to help me to become a D2.
    #3 I will apply the law of the bad apple to my attitude this week by not allowing myself to enter into the victim mindset. where it like to wander too. and also take responisiblitiy for how my bad attitude rubs off on others and how powerful a bad attitude is.

  • Amanda Thurston

    #1 I can practice empathy with the client’s I have to come into contact every day. Build a stronger connection with them by getting on their level. As much as it is my job as a hairstylist to “fix the problem” the guest may be having with their hair, I also need to get on a level of empathy with them to build stronger relations with them, so they feel more confident in my recommendations.
    #2 I am at D2. I started out with such high commitment with moving forward in my career where I work. As time has gone on and experiencing the frustration and bumps in the road I have found my self at more of a D2 were I waiver around low competence and commitment. This is a learning experience for all of us and as we learn we struggle though the growing pains. But I am committed to keep pushing through to D3 and eventually D4!
    #3 I will not let a negative attitude drag down the rest of my day. Instead of dwelling on a bad attitude one day I will smile. I will take responsibility. It may not be my fault, but I will take responsibility for it and not play the victim.

  • Edward D Klaver

    #1 Empathy, Dennis was reading my mail in this video on Empathy, I never knew what to say or how to deal with the situations when approached when other people bring their situations/concerns to me. With my Bride I was like Dennis always wanting to fix the situation and move on to next subject. With my manager I just listen she is female and I want to be circumspect to protect myself as a husband and father and assistant manager at work. I feel limited in what I can say to my manager I know she needs Jesus and teaching to help her get beyond a lot of issues she and her family are dealing with. That said she has been very discouraged/hurt from denominational “religious doctrine” ie teachings about God but no relationship. I know sometimes people just need someone they can trust to listen and be non judgmental.
    To answer question with my Bride/Wife I am going to endeavor to be more patient and not try to always offer solutions. With my manager I will continue to listen and pray for laborers to cross her path to share the truth of a relationship with Jesus not just some religious doctrine.

  • David Johnson

    1. I can be more empathetic through forgiveness and understanding, and praying for my brother in law who must under go knee surgery.
    2. I found my self to be some where between a D2 and D3 in my relationship God. At first I was all gung-ho that I recommitted my life back life to Jesus Christ, but I quickly realized that understanding God isn’t always that straightforward. I have some competence but my commitment is variable. I don’t necessarily agree with Ken Blanchard’s limited and rigid approach to competence and commitment. I find that some where along the continuum there are people that have both low competence but variable commitment or they realize they have low competence but there commitment is never touched. I guess it all depends on the person.
    3. Many times I find my self complaining about projects not getting finished on time and throwing other people under the bus for their lack of performance. I will apply the “Law of the Bas Apple” this week by asking God my father to give me strength, patients, and not be judgemental, cynical, doubtful and as usual, very skeptical.

  • Daniel L. Snead

    1.) One way I can practice empathy this week is by sharing with other business owners the times that I’ve failed and gone through droughts so as to encourage them during their hard times.
    2.) I believe I am a D4 in the area of my networking marketing business. I have been doing the business for years now and have been through highs and lows. I am very competent and highly committed.
    3.) If I get discouraged, I won’t allow myself to feel like it’s justified. I just have to shake it off!

  • Justine Rene’ Snead

    1.) One way I can practice empathy this week is with my co-workers at my job. Rather than just throwing solutions at their problems, I can dive in with them to walk alongside them as they work through their issues.
    2.) I am also part of a network marketing business and I would say I’m currently at D2. I was very committed and excited about it until I experienced a recent failure. It has through me off a bit and I am finding it difficult to find commitment again.
    3.) I do not want to be the bad apple! When I find that my attitude is becoming less and less positive I will be sure to remember that its not all about me! There are people around me who will be affected by my attitude, whether intentional or not, and its my responsibility to be a positive influence on them.

  • Ashley Backhouse

    1. I will practice empathy by removing an unspoken standard of perfection–which we know doesn’t exist–and by accepting the help that is available with a heart of gratitude acknowledging what each one adds to the team.
    2. As a stay at home mom, I would rank myself as a D3. No doubt my heart is for my family and their good–moderate to high competence–and often my commitment follows suit; however, there are days of inconsistency when I know what needs to be done for a peaceful home, peaceful family but struggle to sacrifice the “me” time required to get those other tasks accomplished. By identifying this inconsistency of commitment, I will be intentional to push through the “wall” of selfishness, laziness when the choice arises.
    3. With my current position being at home there is a direct correlation between the “Law of the Bad Apple” and my response to question 2. I set the tone for my children; I set the stress level when my husband gets home from a long day. I will refuse to act entitled to having a bad day despite the challenges with which I am faced. The reality is I am blessed to be at home in this season, so I will do my best to be ever mindful of that truth, savoring the time instead of wishing for it to hurry along.

  • Ben Johnson

    1. I can practice empathy by really listening to what the people I lead have to say. Instead of trying to give them advice and trying to make the situation seem less painful I’m going to let them know, as Denis said, that I am with them. A lot of the time thats all you have to say because thats all people may want to hear. They want to know that they aren’t alone during the painful times of life.
    2. Right now I’m having trouble leading a team. After reading chapter 5 of Ken Blanchard’s book, I’ve come to realize that I am on the D2 part of the Development Continuum. I understand the basics of how to lead a team but I don’t have much experience with it. Also since its been difficult to get people to serve at all I’ve slowly given less and less commitment on trying to grow the team. Now since I know where I am on the continuum I will try harder. Ill ask, have my leaders teach me how to lead a team better and more efficiently.
    3. I’ve realized that when I have a negative attitude it rubs off on other people. I don’t want others to have bad attitudes nor do I want to have a bad attitude so I’m going to take advantage of the “Law of the Bad Apple.” This week I will reread the 5 attitudes given to us by Maxwell and then see if I am displaying any of them. If I am I will hold myself accountable for it because there is no excuse. Honestly I will also take it to prayer. I will ask God to help me realize that there is no reason for a bad attitude, help me take control of my attitude and to humble me.

  • susan tierson

    1. To help with solutions to arriving to meeting due to newly babysiting of grandchild. To hear what she is saying and relay back to her .. To let her almost resolve on her own … But help lead her there.
    2.D2 …This relates to a group I currently lead…I At times i feel low competency … low commitment.
    3. Keeping a positive attitude towards ALL members at group… even those who tilt towards a bad attitude

  • Jessica Liming

    1. One way I can practice empathy this week is with a woman in a group that I lead. I can try and understand her situation and meet her where she is at.
    2. I am at level D2: Disillusioned Learner. I currently have low competency with low commitment. I feel that I struggle with moving through the continuum and am looking forward to learning more and developing my competency and motivation/commitment so that I may move through the rest of the stages.
    3. I can apply the law of the bad apple to myself this week. I have needed an attitude adjustment the past two weeks. I feel that my poor attitude has negatively impacted my team this past week and I look forward to having a better attitude and seeing the positve changes that happen.

  • Joanna Follman

    1. I can practice empathy this week with a couple women in my linked group that have been going through some family tragedy and sickness. I can call and text them individually, be diligent to pray for them and check in to see how their doing so they know I’m with them and here for them.
    2. I feel like for being a greeter leader I’m at a D3. I think I’m starting to get the hang of connecting with people on my team and relaying the value in what we do. I could be more consistent with building the team and reaching out to my leaders to get feedback on how to grow people individually and as a whole.
    3. I recently went through an issue at work and through leadership academy I realized I was the one with the bad attitude about a certain task. So I had to face that and realize I needed to ask for help to actually complete the task since I didn’t have the competence to do so. Also on the home front my brother and sister in law are going through some life changes and I need to be supportive instead of critical. I’m realizing how easily I can fall into complaining and negativity if I’m not careful. It really takes being aware and Making a conscious decision to dwell on good things.