Have you ever been sincerely edified by someone you respect? Have you ever been de-edified by someone? I know for me, edification is a skill that I am constantly working on. Although I’m still not a great edifier, I work just as hard to not be a de-edifier. I have learned from personal experience that few things hurt a relationship faster than de-edifying someone, especially someone who is trying to help you succeed. Edification ultimately comes down to what’s in your heart. Edification is a sign of respect and sincere appreciation.
Edification is arguably the most crucial skill to master in leadership. After all, the primary job of a leader is to build people up. In a Community Building situation, mastering edification is absolutely essential, especially for a new person or someone who has struggled for a while to gain traction in their business. Edifying the leader who is helping you is the only way for your leader to have any credibility with your prospects. If you don’t respect the leader you’re working with enough to edify them to your prospect, why should they listen to him? In that situation, how is your leader supposed to help you now?
De-edification comes in many shapes and sizes, from obvious to very subtle. Sometimes it can be so subtle that a person doesn’t even realize that they are doing it. Some subtle ways to de-edify include: talking over someone, making it seem as though someone is no further along the journey than you are, not directing a prospects questions to your leader, even making inappropriate jokes to, or about your leader, in front of your prospect. These are all little things that are easily done without thinking. The problem is, everybody is picking up on this lack of respect and they are losing respect for you because of it.
Obvious ways to de-edify include: correcting your leader, who is trying to help you, in front of your prospect, answering questions that are directed toward you leader, contradicting your leader in public, talking while they are giving a presentation, and talking negatively about your leader. Feel free to share some examples that you have experienced or witnessed.
The interesting thing about both edification and de-edification is that both reveal so much about you. Which ever you choose to do shows the world what’s in your heart and how you feel about yourself. Edification says that you are confident, humble, and respectful. De-edification reveals you to be prideful and disrespectful.
The bottom line is that nothing builds stronger bonds, faster, than edification. Nothing destroys relationships and communities faster than de-edification. Whichever you practice will be duplicated. Choose wisely!