You remember her don’t you? From back when you were a little kid? You remember her, right? She was the friend that was always telling you things would be ok, no matter how bad you messed up. She would forgive you over and over and over, and still great you with a smile and a hug. She always thought the best of everyone and, for some crazy reason, felt that others, deep down, always had good intentions.
Not only would Grace accept others, but she always found a way to help you accept yourself. There would be times when you hated yourself for something stupid you did or said. You would wallow around for a while in self-pity, but eventually Grace would always come through with at least a glimmer of hope.
And, remember how Grace always made you feel? Like you were a good person. Like you cared about others and wanted them to do well. Like you were strong and could survive any adversity and struggle that came your way.
She would always accept you, and others, while intentionally moving forward with confidence and hope.
Why Should We Care? The willingness to show grace to others is a choice, an important one for a leader. The opposite of grace is judgement. As a leader, this is a critical distinction. The more we move towards judgement, the less trust we build with our people.
The distinction between judgement and accountability is also important. We can hold people accountable without judging them. We can hold people accountable and still show them grace. We’ve all done it. We just need to do it more. A lot more.
Consider for a second the amount of judging that is taking place in society right now. It’s everywhere. How could our team and those we lead not be sucked into that darkness as well? It requires intentional thoughts and actions. And, it requires the courage to be different.
REAL TALK - Action Steps Our actions are a result of the feelings our thoughts create. Those feelings are not a result of what has happened to us, rather a result of the story we tell ourselves about what happened. That narrative is the deciding factor on choosing grace.
*Much more detail on each of the points below can be found in Brené Brown’s book “Dare to Lead”
Take the time to recognize your story and that what you are telling yourself might not be completely true. You don’t have to do anything with it yet, just recognize that there is a story involved. Few people are willing to do this which leads directly to assumptions and judgements.
Dig into that story. Is it true? What information are you adding that you aren’t sure about? Do you really know the intent of the other person? What more do you need to know about the situation, the other person, and yourself? This is where we decide between judgement and grace.
This is where the rubber meets the road. Once we’ve wrestled with the story and gotten comfortable with it, now we take action. Hopefully it’s a revolution and an action you will be proud of. Choosing grace and acting on that grace are two different things. Having the courage to give grace sets us apart from the rest of the world.
It’s easy looking at it from the outside, or in retrospect. Which leader do you want to work for - one that consistently extends grace or one that consistently extends judgement? Of course, we may get burned sometimes. It’s still the right way.
For more information on building excellence in your teams, visit us at www.bluecollargrit.com. We would love to know how we could help!