Some Good Advice on (NOT) Taking Offense

If you aren’t following Dn. Michael Hyatt (blog, Twitter, podcast, Facebook), then you have a wealth of practical wisdom waiting for you!  In this episode of his podcast, he takes on a critical skill: avoiding taking offense.  Let’s face it: clergy have plenty of opportunity to get upset: they hear all kinds of criticism being directed against them, their parish, their bishop, their families, even Orthodoxy itself.  

Dn. Michael argues for a pastoral response to criticism that allows us to retain our objectivity (and spiritual sanity!) so that we can respond in a way that brings peace and healing to the situation.  Great leaders are not offended by criticism; they are charitable in their response to it and always take the moral high road.  Tyrants (both petty and great) take offense, meet fire with fire, and allow themselves to be drug by their passions onto the low road to hell.  As Dn. Michael points out, being offended is a choice: decide against it!  – Fr. Anthony


Why Effective Leaders Cannot Afford to Be Easily Offended [Podcast]
By Michael Hyatt (posted to MichaelHyatt.com on 19 February, 2014)
© 2013, Michael S. Hyatt. All rights reserved. Originally published at www.michaelhyatt.com.

Joseph kissing Benjamin (source; wikipedia commons)

Joseph kissing Benjamin (source; wikipedia commons)

As a leader, you are going to draw fire. People will criticize you. Some will second-guess your decisions. Others will impute motives that aren’t there. A few will falsely accuse you.

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If you are going to be effective as a leader, you can’t afford to be easily offended. Don’t take the bait! Nothing will derail you faster and consume your energy—energy you could be using to do what matters most.

When I am tempted to get offended, I remind myself of four great truths I have learned—and am still learning—about offenses.

  • Truth #1: Offenses are inevitable.
  • Truth #2: Offenses are usually unintentional.
  • Truth #3: Offenses can be good for us.
  • Truth #4: Being offended is a choice.

The greatest leaders I know are not easily offended. Instead, they practice the habit of overlooking offenses. They take the high road, give the offender the benefit of the doubt, and move on. What about you?


  1. Donald Kelpinski says:

    Very good advice!

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