Mary-Jo Hill

06 Jan 2016
It is easy to mistake good manners for graciousness but it is more than that.

True graciousness demands that you have time for others

I often observe gaping holes in work culture and it can be tricky to really pinpoint a crux to it. Many of us leave work with a feeling of uncertainty of whether you are really appreciated. When you feel like your line manager doesn’t fully value your work, you begin to care a little less.

It is obvious when you enter a school or college where people value gratitude and graciousness. There is an instant positive vibe. It is easy to mistake good manners for graciousness but it is more than that. True graciousness demands that you have time for others… And that is the really tricky part in a very busy school environment.

Showing grace

The Oxford English Dictionary offers many definitions for the word. One is ‘Kindness, generosity, considerateness; courtesy, politeness’. However, another definition for the word got me thinking for a while ‘Mercifulness or compassion (of God or a person)’. So, does that implies that the capacity of being kind, polite and compassionate is a divine trait? Finding time to demonstrate graciousness is something humans lost the ability for?

I honestly don’t and can’t believe in that. Working daily with headteachers, teachers and wider school staff showed me that grace can be found even in the middle of very difficult situations. Yes, it can be tricky to make time for others in the daily hurry of a fast-paced work environment. However, the shift once this happens is clear.

Grace makes everything lighter. It gives us more confidence to face whatever is thrown in our way. When a line manager shows graciousness to his team members, motivations grow, changes happen, and results come. Why not try to show graciousness today?