It's All About GRACE.

I was sitting in church last night during our Maundy Thursday service and as I was reading along in the cantata, one word kept popping up. GRACE.

And I realized, we all can do with a little more GRACE in our lives in how we treat other people. Honestly, when was the last time you used the word GRACE in conversation?

As you know, this is a business and career blog — so how do I incorporate GRACE into that?

The definition of GRACE is:

As a noun — simple elegance or refinement of movement or conversation.

As a verb — to do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one's presence.

So here goes:

  1. When dealing with a direct report, add a bit more grace to the conversation. Show them a bit more refinement in your words. Even if they've done something wrong, try to credit them in some way.
  2. At a meeting, comport yourself with a little more grace than usual. Listen to what other people say without barging in and giving them your perspective.
  3. Be grateful you have a business or career and let others know it. Tell your boss or clients how much they mean to you. Honor them.
  4. When meeting someone for the first time, show them how refined you really are. Don't be pushy, brazen, or assertive — simple elegance will take you far.
  5. It does matter for any gender: If you're a woman, elegance and refinement come easily to you — use them frequently. People will be impressed and call you a 'sharp' executive. If you're a man, spend a bit more time giving credit or honor to people — they will start calling you a 'true' gentleman.

TAKE ACTION: Over the next week (or two), take a Post-It note and write GRACE on it. Whenever you have an opportunity to interact with another person, add a bit more of YOUR GRACE to the conversation.

You might not only surprise yourself — others will be surprisingly impressed.


Are You Feeling Guilty At Work?

I'm feeling guilty today. The funny thing is . . . I shouldn't. Every Tuesday, like clockwork, I attend my networking/sales team meeting with approximately 50 people.

It's called BNI (Business Networking International), a worldwide organization where businesspeople meet to learn about their services and deliver hot referrals (CLIENTS) each week. I find it powerful for my business (it delivers 40-45% of my clients each year) and wouldn't miss it for the world. In fact, if you have a business or a product to sell, BNI is THE place to go to increase your bottom line.

What happened?

Today, I'm missing my weekly meeting. I had to double-book a client over my meeting and could not schedule it for any other time this week. They HAD to meet at this time. And I did ALL the right things a BNI member should do:

I notified the leadership team of my absence.

I replace my open spot for the week with a great substitute who will do my commercial.

I let the visitor host team know of my sub so they could list them on our weekly roster.

And I did it all on-time, prior to our meeting.

I still feel guilty. I feel that I'm letting my colleagues down even though I've taken all the steps to ensure my absence is covered this week. Why do I feel guilty?

I feel like I'm letting my BNI colleagues down.

I feel that I'm missing out on something good.

That regular burst of enthusiasm I receive from attending will not be there this week.

Honestly, I shouldn't feel guilty. NOT ONE BIT. Why? Guilt is all about the PAST. And guess what? There's nothing I can do about it. NOTHING. It's in the past.

I've made a decision, I've prepared my absence — I've taken all the steps to ensure I shouldn't feel guilt about missing my meeting. So it's time to confront my guilt and realize I have to live in the present and move on from this 'fake' feeling. Why?

It's holding me back — I'm focusing on something that really doesn't matter.

I'm expending mental and physical energy towards a belief that is not true.

I'm not focusing on the present or planning for the future. This is where I can make serious progress towards my goals.

So the next time you feel GUILTY, remember it's all in the past and there's nothing you can really do about it. Take that guilt and repurpose its energy into the present and future. You will find yourself working faster, better, and with more enthusiasm.

Guilt is a mechanism for us to remember past mistakes so we don't repeat them — don't let it paralyze you.