Proverbs at Work: Bringing Thoughtfulness to Work
“The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.” (Proverbs 14:8)
We have many opportunities to make an impact at work. One of those ways is to bring thoughtfulness to work with us every day.
Thoughtfulness consists of two different qualities. A thoughtful person is kind and considerate but thinks carefully. We can think carefully (thoughtful) but not be kind and considerate (thoughtful). Therefore, a thoughtful person thinks carefully and factually as they simultaneously demonstrate thoughtfulness (kindness) to people.
We need a thought process to gather relevant facts when we have decisions to make. We also need to be mindful of the feelings of people. This way, we are demonstrating the two qualities of thoughtfulness. One is to gather the truth and facts, and the other is to treat others with kindness and consideration. We should all consider if we are demonstrating both of these qualities.
At work, facts need to be gathered to make wise decisions. These decisions can have a significant impact on people. It could mean they lose their job, take on extra responsibilities, are disappointed, or must deal with substantial changes. Therefore, a wise boss or manager will gather all the facts but also will be mindful of the feelings of others. A manager who provides a performance appraisal must have facts, not “hearsay,” and be respectful. This demonstrates a clear thought process in gathering information, and deliberate thoughtfulness in the delivery of the data.
"The simple believe anything, but the prudent give thought to their steps." (Proverbs 15:15)
This week at work, consider the following:
1. Would you consider yourself a thoughtful person at work? What does this mean to you?
"The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception." (Proverbs 14:8)
2. When you are presented with a difficult situation, do you gather the facts before responding or react without the necessary information? Is this an area you can improve on?
"All who are prudent act with knowledge, but fools expose their folly." (Proverbs 13:16)
3. Being thoughtful means being kind, even during a difficult conversation. If you have gathered truthful facts, you can demonstrate thoughtfulness by communicating respectfully and professionally. This can help change a negative experience into a positive learning opportunity.
"He must turn away from evil and do good; He must seek peace and pursue it." (1 Peter 3:11)
4. Have you had opportunities to practice the two-fold characteristic of thoughtfulness? If you have gathered the relevant facts and considered these facts and peoples’ feelings, you have demonstrated thoughtfulness.
"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." (Philippians 4:8)
5. When you reflect on your week, have you demonstrated thoughtfulness? Is this an area that you can still improve on? Ask God for help so that every day at work, you are showing God’s love by demonstrating thoughtfulness to others.
"Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." (Colossians 3:17)
Taking this to God in Prayer:
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the thoughtfulness You continually demonstrate to me. Help me to consistently show a thoughtful attitude to others. Please remind me of the responsibility I have to be mindful of people’s feelings, even though I may need to make a hard decision or have a difficult conversation. Help me to avoid jumping to conclusions or neglecting to gather all relevant information. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.