Grace As A Corporate Practice

Grace As A Corporate Practice

As an executive coach, I often work with leaders who are developing their leadership style and way of showing up authentically. It is not uncommon to broach the topic of grace and it’s place in senior leader in government, corporate, and law firms too.

Here’s what I know.

Grace is a spiritual principle for sure, but one that has practical and profitable business applications. It is a vehicle through which companies can inspire innovation by creating an environment in which staff is not afraid to try for fear of failure for their ideas. Grace also helps cultivate an environment in which contractors and employees self-report errors and mistakes instead of hiding them, which improves operations. 

Grace is an effective tool for setting expectations and managing employee behavior because it humanizes policies and procedures. This happens because a grace-sensitive environment penalizes improper action within a framework recognizing that humans are not perfect and not all mistakes are detrimental.

Grace, as a corporate principle, creates a workplace culture in which mistakes are met with empathy, even when they have a negative consequence, and ideas are met with respect, even when they do not move forward. It contributes to building a safe environment for employees to bring their best selves to work and self-regulate their behavior.

Grace is also the foundation of great leadership. It inspires creativity and trust, authenticity and openness, listening to and hearing others. Grace transforms transactional workplace relationships into collaborative ones, building corporate cultures where everyone who wants to contribute is self-motivated to do so because they feel their voice will be heard and experience acknowledged, even if their ideas are not ultimately implemented. 

To feel seen and be heard matters; great leaders know this to be true. Grace is a spiritual practice that is good for business too.

Let’s close out with a few coaching questions to support the evolution of your leadership capacity.

  • How can you incorporate grace into your daily leadership practices to create a space where every voice is not only heard but valued, regardless of the outcome of their ideas?
  • Reflect on a recent situation where you could have responded with more grace. What might have changed if you had embraced empathy and understanding as your first response?
  • In what ways can you actively demonstrate grace in your interactions that will encourage others to feel safe and supported to bring their whole selves and best ideas to work?
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