I have been slowly working my way through Beth Moore‘s “Whispers of Hope” a 10 week devotional prayer book. I started in January, which is slightly more than 10 weeks ago …
Anyhoo, earlier this week, her devotional was on Kindness. And this line stuck with me:
Just because we can’t do something great doesn’t mean we can’t do something good.
And it hit me that this was me in my office, in my work. I’ve been here for almost 4 years and some of the people in this office still don’t trust me. And I get frustrated. Look at all these Big Things I’ve done to improve things. I’ve held people accountable. I’ve helped increase pay rates. There are changes in our department that people are seeing. And sometimes I feel like they are all Janet Jackson on me …
Because the Big Things do fade. And sometimes, we can’t get the Big Things done. So we need to look other places to do those little things. The hard part is noticing what those little things are and being enough in the moment to recognize and act. And honestly, I think I’ve been thinking about Big Things because I’ve been thinking about this kindness as an action. Then today, I realized it’s not necessarily an action, but something different, that I can’t put my finger on. And here’s what lead me to that thought:
I had a meeting with some employees to discuss a situation. These 2 employees are very antagonistic towards each other. I would put money down that they would jeopardize a project just to spite the other. Immediately before the meeting, one employee’s supervisor told me I needed to talk to the employee. So I brought the employee to my office and we talked one on one about the upcoming meeting. He told me he didn’t want to attend because of the other person. Didn’t want to be in the same room as the other. I listened to him. I told him I understood and that I would let him not attend, but I wanted him to hear me out first. I told him why it was important for him to be in the meeting. I asked him to attend and just listen. And he came. And I wish I could tell you it was a productive meeting and they are best of friends, but life doesn’t work that way. We did talk about expectations around being professional and respectful and that’s about as far as we got. But at least he came.
I showed him some respect. I listened to him. And he did what I asked.
And isn’t that really what all employees want? Sure the paycheck and benefits are the number one. But what keeps them is respect.
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