I am currently reading a book entitled Courage & Calling, by Gordon T. Smith. It has been a thought provoking look at vocation from a biblical point of view. It was first published in 1999 and expanded in 2011. So you may have already come across this title in your own reading. Towards the end, Gordon Smith takes one chapter to talk about the idea of what I would call “partnerability.” The title of the chapter is actually “Working With and Within Organizations.” His premise for the chapter is thus, “We fulfill our vocations in partnership with others.” On this note I would agree. We were designed for community and we are most effective when we live out our work in community. It is a necessity inside your organization and with others outside the organization. This truly requires partnership. I have written before about different levels of partnership. But I really appreciate what Smith says about the character of an able partner.
Smith highlights three character traits that are essential for partnering well.
He amplifies this notion when he says, “Character is the most critical characteristic that enables us to work effectively within organizations. Character includes the humility and courage to live by one’s conscience, and the ability to live and work with others with grace, patience, kindness and humility.”
1. Be a good listener. “Our capacity to be effective is directly related to our capacity to listen.”
2. Be dependable. “We are people of our word. We are dependable. We will be there. It will be done on time.”
3. Be respectful. “People who thrive in organizational life work with a fundamental assumption: each person I live and work with is a person of worth, dignity and value.”
Here are some questions for you. Do you agree with these three? In what ways will one or all of these help to make you a better partner? What qualities are on the top of your list? Join the discussion.