When sharing your faith it's a good idea to do what you can to keep the other person engaged, curious and thoughtful. One way to do that is to let them have a place of power. Ok, now what does that mean?
The place of power is simply how you position yourself and the other person when engaging in a conversation.
Here are a couple of examples of the place of power.
- Sit or stand lower than the other person.
- Open posture.
- Ask questions.
- Listen very closely.
- Recap what you understand they said and meant.
Creating Opportunities To ConnectThe purpose of letting someone be in the place of power helps them relax and keeps their thoughts out in front of their feelings. It's hard to be curious and thoughtful when one gets a jolt of emotions, feeling like they are going to end up in a debate or embarrassed.
Most people get uncomfortable real quick when they get the sense that they are "defending" their life philosophy. When they feel like they are simply sharing their ideas and have a captive audience, they will tell you everything they know.
This is good for a few reasons.
- It's fun to share our thoughts on life and build a relationship.
- Talking about life helps us to think deeper.
- Listening to others talk about life helps us to think deeper.
- Everyone has gaps in their world view. The Gospel and the Word of God can help fill those gaps and make sense of what's going on.
We discussed having a plan for our body in the article, Body Language. In the same way that we want to set ourselves up for success, we also want to have a plan to place others in a great position so they are free to be open and thoughtful as well.
Have you ever felt like you were hovering over someone and it felt uncomfortable?
Sitting or standing higher than someone in a conversation has an effect. It can change the tone, feeling and success of a conversation. The physically higher person is perceived to have authority. The lower person intrinsically will have the feel of being subordinate.
Generally, people are adverse to being open when a perceived authority figure is looking over them. On the other hand, sharing with someone who has no perceived authority over you isn't all that difficult.
So sitting or standing a little lower takes away the stress and can open up the conversation. By relinquishing the place of power we help others stay engaged.
How can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells them? ... So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ. - Romans 10:14, 17 NLT
Please, add your thoughts in the comment section.