Grace in the workplace

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A proven leader, William A. Thrall, shared with NSSC delegates how ordinary relationships develop extraordinary character and influence. He illustrated how environments of grace in the workplace encourage relationships of trust, leading to improved, open and effective communication.

He spoke of character—who am I?— and capacity—what can I do? Each of us must seek to integrate these qualities through trust and grace.

We tend to assume that character develops naturally, when, in fact, it develops in relationships. It is tested, however, in isolation.

Character, he said, is constructed through environments of grace, relationships of trust and servant-oriented humility. With developing characteristics of our capacity we actualize the potential that is within us. As we develop character we find our destiny, and as we merge capacity and character into an integrated self, we achieve exaltation—an elevation of character and an expansion of choices.

As we work to create a “community of grace,” we find character, trust, truth and authenticity. “How I view me may be the most revealing commentary of my theology,” he said.

“Character is developed in relationship, but it is tested in isolation.”

He spoke of trust.

In the task-oriented nature of our work we come in contact with many who don’t know how to trust. “When we only trust ourselves we lack humility. God gives grace to the humble. It is received when I trust God and others with me. Trust is a love word. The degree to which I trust you is the degree to which I permit you to love me, no matter the extent of the love you have for me. Integrity is that quality of character that elicits trust from others.

“Trust asks: “Can you do what you say you can do? Are you safe? Can you handle me with all my problems? Can you protect me?

Transparency is when I tell you what I want you to know about me.

Vulnerability occurs when I reveal myself to you.

“Trust must be earned. Love and trust are inseparable. To choose not to trust is to choose not to love.”

Bill Thrall has written and spoken widely on issues of leadership and interpersonal relations. He is well known for his book, Truefaced, and during the conference gave all delegates his latest work, Beyond Your Best, written with Ken McElrath and Bruce McNicol.

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