Personae                                                                                     Part-1

In this topic of ‘Personae’, I would like to talk about a word called “Candour” in a person’s character. 

Candour is generally characterized by the person’s openness and sincerity of expression, as well as being unreservedly straightforward.  Currently the word used to describe Candour is called ‘Candid’.

It’s like saying:

  • “Please give your candid opinion about my speech”
  • “In this meeting we have come to a moment that calls for candour”
  • “I appreciate yourcandour, but I think it isn’t the best time to speak about it”

Good life management is founded on a culture of constructive Candour; let’s see some of its elements:

Essential elements of being ‘Candour’

  1. Think it through:

When you have to discipline a person for their character or behavioral issues, firstly take time to think about the main issue beforehand, instead of making an instantaneous review of the person.  While crafting your thoughts, ponder upon the questions on what’s new about the person, if any unusual incident occurred, the motive behind the behaviour, or any hidden rebellion – once thought over, elucidate as only you uniquely can.  Having pondered about it, frame the right approach.

  1. Telling it like it is:

After you have made the assessment and ready to speak to the person – speak with honesty and accuracy, and don’t talk around the subject.  Just make sure there are no understatements and no sugar coating’s to make it something it’s not. Speak plainly with an attitude of care and concern at the same time avoiding anything unpleasant, embarrassing or negative. Highlight different areas of expertise of the person to show why he or she is talented and a good person, to be able to triumph over the difficult issues of their life. This can spur them to have confidence and hope against any opinions of them being a failure and a defeat.  Your goal is to see the person through this erroneous personality trait and bring restoration.

  1. Timeliness:

People with problems and complications in life require our attention and it is our responsibility to seek them out and assist them. The need to be punctual in addressing these issues with people would often save them from serious consequences.  Once the timing is right, sort it out, otherwise you may have lost the stewardship of your time and this could mean disrespect for people.  Look carefully then and make wise use of your time. The efficiency of the use of our time, resources and loving consideration for others makes us punctual and dependable.

John Wesley said – “Do all the good you can – by all the means you can – in all the places you can – to all the people you can – as long as ever you can.”

Here, I would like to write about a leader with such a quality, his name is Stanley Mehta (Stan-M).  My family has known this gentleman for over twenty years and we have witnessed an exemplary leader with a lifestyle of learning and pursuing for a fruitful living. He is an inspiration to us and many more.

My emphasis here is to point out Stan-M’s elements of being ‘Candour”:

  • Straightforwardness: Stan-M is an open-minded person, resolute in life and not introverted with disappointments and failures of life.  His discernment toward problems and not considering ‘failure as a failure’ did make him a person sprinting forth to triumph over and finally succeed. 

He faced many problems in his Ministry and personal life – be it financial, social, relational, spiritual or physical – which were all overwhelming and stressful.  He had to handle a lot of anxious moments and because of his candidness and telling it like it is, he was able to take timely advice and right counsel to challenge the problem. Stan-M taught us that being honest about our failings and revealing our inaccuracies would bring ‘hope for change’ rather than living in an illusion. He was being authentic about what he was going through.

  • Sincerity of heart: Learning how imperative it is to be mentored, he established a secure relationship with his mentors and continues an exceptional rapport with them.  Stan-M’s expression of opinion towards them and people whom he mentors are built upon sincerity, trust and constructive candour, which is seen in him while taking an integral part in their lives.  He has maintained his status as a “spiritual father” to so many of us because of his loving and caring nature.

This has definitely produced a discipler in him and he made it his goal to be able to retrieve the amazing purposes hidden in the hearts of his learners. 

He proves to be someone – when left in his hands, would bring out the best in them and with full of life and spirit. However, he would take on sensitive matters diplomatically without harming or hurting anyone’s feelings.  This allowed people to see, a sense of vision and feel the sense of belonging, under a leader who was true, honest, kind, and fair. Nobody would want to follow a superficial or an obscure leader – having just an appearance rather than internal genuineness – having said that, his trustworthiness is commendable. 

Through this persona, Stan-M is gifted to guide and direct many other leaders in a manner that would seem quite flawless.

David Selvan – one of Stan-M’s disciple’s comments on his candour:

“He taught me, trained me and gave me scope to falter and grow.  I was 22 when I preached my first sermon in BB Church under his guidance. Many appreciated me probably to make me feel good, but I couldn’t settle till I heard from Stan-M himself.   Finally, he gave me a long list of good points and gave me only two corrections – one about mannerism and the other about my attitude and posture, which is still instilled in my mind.  His life is an inspiration to me”.

The preacher

To end: a short background:

Stan-M is now retired from his position as Mentor and Senior Overseer of the Gateway Ministries International (GMI). This Ministry is also relationally associated with Salt & Light Ministries International of which Stan-M is a part of the International council of Leaders.  However he would still continue to walk the journey contributing his services for the GMI Churches in India and abroad. He is settled with his family in Bangalore.

by florence selvan