Tonight I was reminded of something that my friends Sami and Russell taught me. Not anything new to me, or any of us for that matter. Just a twist on something we all know.
They used to tell me, “Give everyone an A.” Basically meaning, give everyone the benefit of the doubt…believe the best. Kinda goes along with another of my favorite Sami sayings, “Love Wins.”
Of course, when love wins…when love is your highest goal, you always believe the best. You always “give an A.”
Funny that after these thoughts were rolling around in my head, I ran into an excerpt from LeadingSmart.com by Tim Stevens over on Summit Church’s blog. And while he’s talking about organizations or business, his thoughts can really be applied in any relationship. Check it out:
“I want to suggest that to have a healthy culture in your organization or business, you must believe the best about the others on your team. This is less about what you do and more about what you believe. It is less about strategy and more about a discipline of your mind.
When people come at your team, always believe the best.
When you receive an anonymous accusation about someone, throw it away. Why? Because you choose to always believe the best.
When you hear one side of the story and there is every reason to believe that your staff member’s motives or intentions or actions were wrong…wait. Don’t react. Get the rest of the story. Believe the best.
When there are two opposing sides and it isn’t clear what is true and what is false—always side with your team. Make the mental choice to believe the best in those who are standing by you and with you.
This isn’t natural. It is easier to assume the worst. It’s always easier to believe the gossip and fall prey to the slander. Sometimes it takes discipline and integrity to go against popular opinion. But your team will give their best, be at their best and perform their best when they believe you have their back.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t deal with incompetence, bad attitudes, misaligned leaders or the sinful choices of others. It also doesn’t mean you should keep your head in the sand and not notice or deal with the obvious signs of trouble in the ranks. But those will be isolated situations. With most of your team, they need your undying loyalty and trust.
Whether they are below you, above you or next to you in position, your team will soar if they know you have their back.”