Stories

By: Terrence Gargiulo

Galatians 5:22

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, and temperance.

 

There’s always a story behind the story. Every interaction in the workplace is orbited by a constellation of stories. Sometimes these stories shine bright and sometimes they are too faint for us to perceive.

I remember one of my first days in the throes of figuring out a new job. Knowing that the workplace requires focus, I had locked down my work objectives. My teeth were clenched around my “marching orders” like a dog with a bone.

During an orientation meeting, I asked one of my supervisors a procedural question. The answer I received was not helpful. Furthermore, I could tell that she was holding something back in her explanation. I was looking for a set of clear instructions to help me do my job. If she did not have a good answer I was ready to jump in with recommendations. I tried to resist my instinct to judge her response. After all, I did not have the whole story.

Instead, I shifted my focus to consider the feelings of this supervisor. I probed with a question. She relaxed a little bit. She gave me a small piece of what I realized was a much larger story. I didn’t get the whole picture, but it was a start.

The experience taught me that I was going to have more to learn about my new coworkers than about my new job. Transactional focus is not nearly as important as relational focus. On the surface, the fruits of my success might be measured by the speed with which I learn my job. My Savior, of course, has a different measurement plan for me.

 

TAKE THE CHALLENGE: What are my “blind spots” in the marketplace? How do these impact my work?