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Rejoice with those who rejoice…
A recent article in The Washington Post tells the ingenious method used by a collective of brilliant White House staffers to make sure their ideas were heard. Realizing they were often outnumbered in (or uninvited to) some of the high power meetings of Washington elite, these female staffers banded together:
…Female staffers adopted a meeting strategy they called ‘amplification’: When a woman made a key point, other women would repeat it, giving credit to its author. This forced the men in the room to recognize the contribution — and denied them the chance to claim the idea as their own.
The women made amplification a regular part of their daily meetings and, as a result, the administration took notice. The direct result of amplification was that women and junior aids were called on more often in meetings. They celebrated and supported one another, and their positive amplification of each individual accomplishment worked in favor of the entire group.
The fact that the idea of amplification made its way to The Washington Post speaks volumes about our natural tendency to look out for number one, instead of seeking ways to advance the entire team. If this kind of teamwork were more common in the workplace — and especially in high-pressure environments like the White House — this story of amplification might have been a non-story. But, it is not necessarily our first instinct to help amplify and celebrate the great ideas and accomplishments of others.
Romans 12:15 invites us to release our grip on number one by encouraging us to share in the successes as well as the sadness of those around us. Sometimes it’s easier to share someone else’s sadness than it is to celebrate their success, especially when we perceive their success to be a threat to our own advancement. Feelings of jealousy or envy often keep us from rejoicing when others rejoice and yet, the women in Washington teach us the power of rising above competitive reactions and embracing collective celebration, instead. When we champion one another, we send a powerful message to those around us and, ultimately, we champion ourselves as well.
QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION:
When was the last time a colleague publicly celebrated or championed you and your successes?
How can you authentically celebrate the ideas and successes of your colleagues?
Lord, thank you for surrounding me with bright, creative colleagues. Help me to cultivate an environment of amplification, rather than seeking only what is best for me. Remind me of the value of rejoicing with those who rejoice. Help me to joyfully and sincerely celebrate the success of others. Amen.
Explore more at the Theology of Work Project online Bible commentary: Specific Behavioral Principles to Guide Moral Discernment (Romans 12:9–21)
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