It was an honest question posed to another colleague who was struggling over the fact that a boss gave an underperforming employee a second opportunity for an important job. She asked, “Haven’t you been given second chances? Why is this such a problem for you?” (Partick Lencioni in Death By Meeting writes that meetings need conflict…and DID we had some!)
The response was tearse, “Second chances are earned.” The rest of the team let out a gasp followed by, “Really?”
The ensuring discussion was honest, real, and raw. It also gave me the opportunity as a Coach to represent the organization’s culture, “This organization believes that second chances are not earned but given as a grace gift; undeserved and unconditional. Now don’t get me wrong there are always consequences for actions. But when it comes to second chances they will be handed out like Mulligan’s to good friends – liberally and often.”
I really enjoy coaching an organization which honors human dignity and whose value is that of speaking the kind truth. There is no doubt, people development is a messy, fluid process. There will be peaks and valleys. However, if an organization commits to building a healthy culture people are drawn to the possibility of the process of transformation.
What do you think the response was to the proclamation that “second chances are given as a grace gift?”