What if we could ask for what we need and want from each other? What if we could talk openly, in the spirit of good will and respect, about what would make us happy and loyal in our workplace? What if we could then negotiate what we can and can’t do to meet these needs? What would happen to our workplaces, our communities, and our families if we all practiced being a little more honest and direct with each other in a respectful way?
We can all learn to be more direct with each other, and it takes continual practice, but there’s something more. Farm Credit Canada, an organization that practices good culture, has taught me a very important concept around building high-performance culture. One of the key principles in their cultural practices and one they work at relentlessly, is the concept of granting grace in their interactions with each other. They hold each other accountable for creating a safe environment where people can speak up without fear of repercussion.
No long ago I spent three days with an amazing team at Farm Credit, and “grace” was a central part of our conversations. They work hard at talking straight in a responsible manner. They are committed to the success of others and hold each other accountable to not engage in “conspiracies” against people. They strive for patience with themselves and others but also respectfully acknowledge when they operate outside the expectations of grace. They don’t get it perfect, but they get it right.
This kind of commitment lends itself to learning to be open and direct with each other. I love the idea of “granting grace.” I also know that it’s an area I need to continually work on. I’m certainly not as graceful in my work and in my life as I could be, especially when under pressure or in the midst of demands and deadlines.
What does “granting grace” mean to you? How do you operate with “grace” in your workplace? What effect does “grace” have on engagement, commitment, and productivity?