Apr 022016

ValueShe sat in her boss’s office, discussing the day, frustrated about staffing levels and a litany of other things. “I know I shouldn’t have been so harsh with Kim when she came in so late. I was just so stressed! She’s a great employee. It just made me so mad!”

“I know I come in here boiling about one thing or another almost every day. How come you are always so calm about it? Even when I’m pushing at you to do something and I really shouldn’t be? How do you do that?”

He turned his chair to look at her a bit more directly. “I have a secret,” he said. “I’ve never told you this before, but maybe it will help you to understand. ”

“When I hear you coming into my office, I stop what I’m doing and turn to face you, right? Do you ever wonder why I often have a slight smile on my face when I do that, even when I know you are about to bring me something stressful, critical, or unhappy?

“Whenever I see you, the first thought that crosses my mind is this- “This is a person that is important to me. This is a person I value.” When that thought starts, it makes me smile and it makes me interact with you in a completely different way. Why? because that thought trumps anything else! Regardless of any stress, impatience, criticism, negativity. I see value in you and I want nothing but good for you.”

“You and I will grow together,” he said,”learning a little more about teamwork and family and valuing people every day.”

Does this make any sense, have any value, in a workplace focused on productivity, employee engagement, mission?

“People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care” -Theodore Roosevelt.

Yes, I think it makes all the difference in the world.

Father, give me the grace and strength to copy the way your Son values people. Help me to treat not just one, but all of my crew as He would. Amen.


Oct 182015

Value and BehaviorI was listening to my pastor preach yesterday. Since I had served earlier in the service, I was sitting on the front row, which is a really good place to pay attention since EVERYONE can see you! He was talking about our minds and the struggle for control that goes on there every day. He talked about what we put into our brains and how we think affects our behavior. He shared some good stuff about left brain, right brain, about visualization, about habits, good and bad.

Right in the middle of all this, he stopped cold and talked about something entirely different- my salvation. He reminded me that my salvation is not tied to all this! My quality of life and my influence on others, sure! But not my salvation.

If you read my writing much in the past, you’ll see this theme crop up over and over. Why is that? Is it that I’m running out of topics? No, it is because I keep looking for new ways to express something that I need to hear and I think you do as well.

Regardless of your faith walk, there’s something of value for you here, I promise.

In the workplace, we have standards of behavior. We have employee handbooks, and policies. We expect coworkers to follow these as a picture of what success looks like in the work environment. When they don’t,  we as leaders are bound to counsel and correct, allowing coworkers to see that their behavior and performance is unacceptable and how it can improve. What we often forget- is that regardless of the behavior, that coworker has great value as a person. How we display that fact is a measure of our own maturity as a leader and as a human being.

At home, we have expectations. For our husbands, for our wives, for our children. If they don’t behave a certain way, succeed at a certain level, measure up to a certain arbitrary point, we express disappointment, anger, disgust, favoritism, dismissal.

They start to believe that their behavior has indeed set their value.

Why? Because we have made this clear through our actions and words! Because maybe we indeed do believe that their value is related to their behavior!

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.        -Romans 5:8, NIV.

God totally rocks at this! He sets our value high, before we even have a chance to let Him power us into looking more like him.

If we truly love someone, if we truly care about them through and through, then we make their value clear in all that we do, even in counseling activity at work, even during discipline at home.

May 112014

Bob MacLaffertyI was blessed last week with the opportunity to preach. I shared the story of Hosea where God asks him to marry someone who would be unfaithful to him. After leaving him and their three children for a wayward lifestyle, she finds herself sold into slavery. Hosea buys her back and takes her home to be his wife.

This story is God’s love in action. Wholly unconditional love. Hating the bad choices, loving the person. Underlining the eternal value of one.

Since then, I’ve been thinking- what truth does this story have for the workplace? How does it apply to relationships on the job? There has to be a lesson in there somewhere, doesn’t there?

Never fear, I think there is. I find that the stories shared in the Bible powerfully teach truths about God, His relationship to us, and how He saves us. Often, I also find applications for human-to-human relationships, how we interact with each other.

A hospital laboratory is a busy, high stress environment. There’s constant opportunity for conflict, misunderstanding and critical behavior. Relationships become strained as people feel under attack or under-valued.

Often, we are so “baby with the bathwater” focused. We can’t seem to separate the actions from the actor, the deeds from the doer. How often do we start sentences with “You are so…” or “I’m mad at you…” Or even worse, “She is such a…” or “He is totally…” In every workplace, every day, we efficiently tear each other down and damage their feeling of value and purpose.

Like a deer caught in the headlights, a coworker stands with mouth hanging open, hearing a personal attack about something she’s never thought. We freely attack each other’s appearance, character and motives, often with disastrous results.

As a leader, it is part of my role to counsel coworkers when there are opportunities for growth and improvement. It’s so easy to make statements that cut- “You are so lazy. You are careless. You embarrass me. You are a liar.”

How much better would it be if we followed God’s example when He hates the sin, loves the sinner. What if we found ways to place high value on the people within our circles at work, leaving the character assassination behind?

Notice to all my laboratorians, I may show  this imperfectly and fail regularly. However, know that I value and appreciate you as part of the family at work. You have been gifted with a unique blend of talents and passions that is true of no other. You are a critical and special part of the whole! I love how all of you can work together, providing excellent care and caring for others. I promise to separate the actions needing guidance from your value as a person. Even when I fail, know that this is my goal and intention.

Father thank You for providing such a game-changing example for me. Give me the strength and the wisdom to follow.

Nov 092013

Early this morning, the sun just starting to laser light beams across the mountains to the east. The house was quiet and I was listening to one of my new favorite songs. Again, clarity about your value, and mine, came to me.  Take a couple of minutes and listen…

But now, this is what the Lord says—
he who created you, Jacob,
he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.  -Isaiah 43:1. NIV.

If you are reading this right now, know one thing: your Heavenly Father owns you twice, once when he created you, again when he bought you back. Don’t ever tell yourself or listen to others tell you that you are not worthy, inferior, not good enough, that you have gone too far, done too much, that you have no value.

He chose you before you chose Him. Even if you never accept Him, He’s paid for you. You are so valuable, not because of what you’ve done, but because of the price He willingly paid for you. A price paid in blood. Lift up your head, throw your shoulders back, and embrace the freedom purchased by the one Who loves you most!

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