It is easy to let our overwork, employment issues, stress and frustration give us heartburn and anger. As leaders, especially in this job market, we see employees come and go through our organization seasonally or even more quickly. As leaders we can tire of telling people the same thing day after day; or season after season; or year after year. We can tend to think in our frustration, “Why don’t they understand what I am thinking”!? 

To build trust and a positive culture, we must have the patience and grace to assume positive intent. We don’t know what others are going through or have gone through in their lives.  We don’t know their intelligence or emotional intelligence to learn and retain.  Every person born on this planet ultimately wants two things—to love and to be loved.

One of my favorite quotes and leadership lessons is this: “We judge ourselves by our intentions, others judge us by our actions”.  This is two lessons in one.

 • One is that we need to pay more attention to our actions; how we treat others, do we jump to conclusions, are we too quick to act, etc., because people will judge us by our actions.

• Two is even more powerful. Assume positive intent and give people grace when they don’t act according to their intentions.