Think the Best of Others

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy – think about such things. (Philippians 4:8)”

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz once said in an interview, that when he visits a Starbucks location, the first thing he does is to look at everything that is going right in the store. What a powerful message he must be communicating to his employees as they experience being needed, wanted, and appreciated for the work they are doing!

My personal tendency is the opposite. I have found that, when assessing a work situation, the first thing I look for is what is going wrong. When thinking about the people in our organization, the first thoughts that come to my mind are how they are coming up short rather than how they are succeeding. In fact, I had a colleague point out to me one time, “You know, Randy, you’ve probably fired everyone in this organization at least once in your mind, and some twice.”

We have a values statement in our organization, something we call the Healy Spirit. The Healy Spirit has values organized under four major themes: Do the Right Thing, Love Wins, Be Better and Make it a Great Day. Under these themes are contained 12 values like, Put others first, Have a servant’s heart, Be humble, and Have faith. All 12 supporting values combine to guide our thoughts, words, and actions. They are at the core of our organization; things we strive to live and breathe on a daily basis.

The one value under Love Wins that I particularly struggle with is Think the best of others. A couple years back, I was having a particularly hard time with one of our employees. There was nothing the employee was doing wrong. We simply had a difference in business philosophies. Rather than valuing our differences and working with the other person to make our organization stronger, I decided to share my differences behind closed doors. I had a number of one-on-one conversations with other leaders in the organization that did NOT include this individual. In these meetings, I consistently portrayed this individual in an unfavorable way. Finally, one of my colleagues had the courage to point out to me in a kind way that it was not the employee who had the problem, but me. I prayed and reflected upon what had been said and realized my coworker was right.

I took the employee out for lunch, confessed my wrongdoing, and asked for forgiveness. Over time I have grown to appreciate this person and the wisdom of their philosophy, and our organization
has become stronger as a result. The lessons learned from this situation are etched in my mind. Whenever I’m having a conversation with another person in our office and somebody is represented in a negative light, I’m quicker to ask myself, “Is this conversation going down the right road?”

The Lord is always thinking the best of me. Over time, slow though it may be, I become more the person he created me to be. He gives us the power to do the same by thinking the best of each other.

Randy Raciti is a member of the South Bend-Elkhart Chapter in Indiana. He is a financial advisor and co-owner of the Healy Group. He and his wife Tami reside in Granger and have seven children. Randy
can be reached at randyraciti@healyfinancial.net.

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