It’s much more than turning the other cheek. It’s about assuming the best of everyone. It’s being empathetic of where someone’s coming from. Meeting them where they’re at. Knowing full well they are going to screw up or disappoint – but staying true to the vision and my own values. It’s about choosing to give them the benefit of the doubt and be gentle.
It is acknowledging that they are human, in the humblest form.
I try to apply this idea to all aspects of my life (and hope to God people offer me the same grace) but I think it is very pertinent to working with clients/customers.
Our clients/customers count on us to be their guide. They’re an expert in their field and they look to us to be their expert in ours. If you were walking side by side with a trusted friend and they stumble, wouldn’t you first reach out to help them up and then, again with them by your side, explore what tripped them up?
Do clients always behave like we’d want them to? Do they always make the best decisions or react with the speed, amplitude or enthusiasm that we’d prescribe? Do they drop the ball? Or hand it off to the wrong person/team? Or forget about conversations about potential consequences and decisions made until there’s a problem?
You know the answers to all of those questions.
But I think it is the questions behind the question that matters. What was their intent? What is their heart?
Then grace comes easily. The day it doesn’t is the day I need to change jobs.