Rev. Ron Piedmonte ministered in my hometown of Binghamton, NY for over 30 years. He excelled at presence. If you asked the people he pastored, most of their meaningful memories related to his visits to the hospital, thoughtful phone calls, and remembering their names in congregation over a thousand people.
I had the opportunity to spend a significant amount of time with him. Pastor Piedmonte shared his wisdom through stories. One of his most meaningful stories he told had to do with a disagreeable board member. This person seemingly shot down most of his proposals, ideas, and decisions.
Right before a meeting Piedmonte called this man into his office. The conversation started like this, “I just wanted to let you know what we are going to talk about tonight…” From that moment, the board member immediately supported him. Pastor Piedmonte would always end the story by saying, “You need to learn the key to every person.”
How often do we make assumptions about what matters to people? Many times people have simple things that mean so much to them. It may look something like this:
Taking care of a task without being asked.
Valuing other’s time by showing up early.
Writing personal notes, sending texts or emails.
Verbally affirming a person when they succeed.
Listening as opposed to giving advice.
Letting a person have silence to recharge.
The difficulty comes in trying to learn the simple key for each person. Yet, these small acts can make all the difference. Actions like these communicate the care of actually getting to know a person.
What are some other simple “keys” for people?