My parents taught me, ‘believe the best in people first.’ And I have to say that I have held this value and worked to live it out, perhaps at times a little naively, but I would rather believe first that people are good, until they prove otherwise.
There is a lot of talk about the diminishing of trust in our leaders and institutions, and there is a general cautiousness to believe people can be trusted, and perhaps some of this is understandable.
However, what I have experienced is that this principle of believing the best in a person first most often results in the person rising well to the occasion.
If my expectation of another in the workplace is that they have something good to contribute to a team, a positive environment, and I give them an opportunity … it seems my expectation gives them permission and courage to bring their goodness and talent to bear.
So, for me the morale of the story is, that if you believe the best in people, it seems to bring out their best:
As a parent with our children
As a colleague
A business partner
I’ve found this to be true in all areas of my life.
Believe the best in others first.