Assume the Best

One thing that I’ve started doing in 2020 is listening to audiobooks. Since Spotify wrapped tells me that I listen to 4 hours of music every day, I decided to start making some of that time a little more productive. One of the books that I read/listened to recently is Dare to Lead by Brene Brown. Brene is a leading author and researcher in vulnerability and leadership.

There are numerous great practices for leaders outlined in the book, but one that stood out to me revolves around assuming the best. We all have people that frustrate us or annoy us. Think about that one person who always seems to get on your nerves. It seems that they always go out of their way to make your life miserable. They may be the person who doesn’t do anything right at work or that coworker or teammate who is constantly on your nerves.

What if we assumed that person was trying their best? They probably are. They aren’t intentionally going out of their way to underperform or frustrate you.

How would your behavior change if you knew that person who frustrates you is trying their best? How would you interact with, lead, or guide them?

When faced with this question last week, I had to do a heart check. There are people who annoy me sometimes and I hardly ever take the time to think they are trying their best. It gave me a new way to look at their actions and behaviors. When we evaluate ourselves, we often think we are giving our best effort, but we don’t often give that benefit of the doubt to others.

Last year, some teammates and I took consistent time to pray over a common enemy in our lives. As much as this person appeared to be constantly trying to frustrate us, we prayed that they would receive the desires of their heart and good things would happen to them. It is humbling to sit and realize that the person you dislike the most has goals and dreams of their own and none of them revolve around ticking you off.

Take some time this week to show grace to the person who annoys you. Realize that they are trying their best. Take some time to pray for them.

How would you act if you knew that person was trying their best?


I appreciate you.


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