RULES OF ENGAGEMENT
BY SIMON PRESLAND
[As a leader, you’re constantly interacting with people of the opposite sex. However, you’re also a person of integrity, and you don’t want to give your spouse or church member any reason to think something more than work is being accomplished. Here are 11 boundaries you can set for yourself.
1. Keep a door, window, or blind open. This will eliminate questionable thoughts in the minds of others, and help to safeguard you
and the person you’re meeting with.
2. Communicate with your spouse. The occasional face to face meeting is unavoidable, but doing so too often can create a rift. Ask
your spouse what he or she is comfortable with.
3. Keep it professional. Conversations should be work related. Talking about personal matters, especially family or marriage
conflicts, can create unhealthy emotional bonds.
4. Counsel with conditions. If possible, men should counsel with men, and women with women. When this can’t be done, have someone else present—your spouse if possible— and never counsel alone at night.
5. Know yourself. Only you know what goes on in your mind. Be honest with yourself and your spouse. If you’re prone to sexual
thoughts, don’t allow yourself to be alone with someone else.
6. Watch your touch. Every thought has a physiological response. If you find yourself touching someone too often, check out your thought life.
7. Keep it public. Whenever possible, meet in a public place, such as a restaurant or coffee shop.
8. Listen to your spouse. If your spouse has a “bad feeling about someone, be on guard. He or she can often sense another person’s motives long before you do.
9. Keep your spouse informed. Go over your daily and weekly calendars with your spouse, informing him or her of who you’re meeting with, where, and why.
10. Make friends. If you get along with someone, include both spouses and make the friendship a quartet.
11. Keep your communication open. You don’t want others to think that you’re cold and uncaring. When someone knows where and why you’ve set personal boundaries, they’ll accept your actions without being offended. Be upfront with our staff and the people you meet with.
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