The saga with the improperly-painted bookcase has continued all week as my friend attempts to undo my mess and create a finished product to greet my weekend houseguest. In my aim to help, I made the situation exponentially worse for him – yet never once has he uttered a cross word about the scenario.
My lesson — in addition to embedding in my brain that you need to “prepare the surface” – has been a reminder about the incredible power of grace. Given the amount of repair time invested, he would be fully justified in blurting out unprintables but he has calmly approached the task at hand, never once blaming or scolding or making me feel stupid (I did that myself!)
It has been a powerful example that providing help instead of shame and focusing on improving the situation instead of reliving it goes a long way toward enhancing both the relationship and the outcome. The next time someone makes a mistake or creates a problem that impacts you, transform the experience into something positive by responding with grace.