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QTM for 9/16/14: GRACE for the WORKPLACE

Posted by on September 16, 2014

“. . . and QTM is what, again?”

Quiet Time Musings.

“Oh.  Yeah.  Right-right.  So–for the WORKPLACE, hunh?”

Yup.  Proverbs is such an interesting set of writings.  You can either take each ‘couplet’, each statement that says the same thing two ways (each one usually said the opposite of the other, a favorite way in ancient Hebrew to teach) and go for years.  Or you can scan those juicy little morsels of truth for linking concepts, finding all sorts of super apps for every kind of human discipline.

Coffee - An empty coffee cup is like---Yeah.  Whatever it is?  Proverbs has an app for that.

Think ‘work’ and ’employees’.  Got it?

Here’s the deal.  Supervisors?  Bosses?  Managers?  Listen up . . .

Most people who want to learn do.

Most people who want to learn do.

Most people who want to learn do.

Those of you who are good instructors already picked up on this:  good teachers always repeat something at least three times.  Repetition makes a difference.  However, forcing the issue – meaning intentional repetitive repetition – means there’s a breakdown somewhere.  Somebody doesn’t want to learn and Time is being wasted.  That helps no one.

Quick, Batman!  To Proverbs!

14:6 – Cynics look high and low for wisdom–and never find it; the open-minded find it right on their doorstep.

15:14 – An intelligent person is always eager to take in more truth; fools feed on fast-food fads and fancies.

17:24 – The perceptive find wisdom in their own front yard; fools look for it everywhere but right here.

18:15 – Wise men and women are always learning, always listening for fresh insights.

19:2-3 – Ignorant zeal is worthless; haste makes waste . . .  People ruin their lives by their own stupidity….

” :20 – Take good counsel and accept correction–that’s the way to live wisely and well.

“:27 – If you quit listening, dear child, and strike off on your own, you’ll soon be out of your depth.

20:18 – Form your purpose by asking for counsel, then carry it out using all the help you can get.

“:28 – Love and truth form a good leader; sound leadership is founded on loving integrity.

Couple of quick points, then we’re off.

There are reasons why any person seems to be forever looking but never finding.  Occasionally it’s because there’s no good teacher and the learner is having to go it alone.  Most of the time, though, it’s because the learner doesn’t want to learn . . .

  • because he or she thinks what’s being taught is nonessential, or ‘busy work’.
  • because he or she secretly thinks they know more than the teacher.
  • because “I’ve never done it that way before” or “I’ve always done it this way.”

With the economy presently tied in knots and profit margins often as not razor thin, new hires and recent grads are usually thankful to have a job.  They know good, experienced, principled, worthy people all around them are out of work.  They’re eager to learn.  And if they have anything on the ball they’re ready to learn the right way the first time.  They know how difficult it is to UNlearn all the UNright ways of doing things for their particular employer.

STOP.  “UNright”?  Yes.  That’s the blue bin over there where you toss all the stuff that’s not specifically wrong, but never works where you are.  Ah, you’re smiling . . .  YOU know of about four or five things that belong in there.

SO.  If you’re dealing with one or two who seem bent on making the same error?  Who seem to be asking and reasking the same questions?  They’re following a private agenda and not your directions.  They are at present a liability because they’re costing more in terms of Time, energy, instruction, workload and overall stress than they’re worth.

As trainer, you have to decide if they’re worth keeping.  This calls for wisdom.  The loving integrity Proverbs 20 talks about means a tough love that speaks truth, letting that employee know he or she has no right to expect to continue acting dense or otherwise making life difficult for the one responsible to train them.

As trainer, you need to decide how long you can afford to let a situation develop that indicates either  a) a new hire who really doesn’t know what they assured you in interviews and on resume they do; or  b) an attitude that believes they know better than the trainer/instructor how they should do their job.  Either one is not your company’s friend.

As employee, you need to decide whether you’re willing to take orders and are teachable.  If you can’t take ’em, don’t ever expect to give ’em.  There are solid reasons why things are operationally done in particular ways, whether they seem to make sense or track with what you think you already know.  If you’re fresh out of school and at entry level, no one expects mature, experienced judgment from you.  If you’ve had some experience, then, yes, you’re expected to know how to follow directions and show sufficient initiative to work without constant supervision.

“Okay, all that’s in Proverbs?”

That’s why it’s called Wisdom Literature.  It’s all full of rully wise stuff and like that.  And since God has to do with all of life, all that wise stuff works where you work, too.

Talent agent and businessman Allen Klein always taught, “Your attitude is the crayon that colors your world.”  You, friend, have a lot to do with how and why things at your work run smooth or rough.  It’s rarely the task, for everybody has those.  It’s almost always attached to your attitude.

It takes grace to work where you do. Takes grace to daily be learning all the minutae you need to know to be good at what you do.  And lots of grace to be the one doing the teaching.

Truth?  That process never really stops.  Everyone is constantly learning, applying, recognizing what is working now that didn’t this time last month or last year.  It’s the price of not just staying in business, but growing–personally and as a company.

So, yeah.  The Bible’s got some good stuff to say about your professional and working relationships.  Whether you see it or not depends largely on that for which you’re looking.

© D. Dean Boone, September 2014






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