Relationships at work enrich us when we listen for the threads of love and joy, fear and guilt, woven into the lives of the people we work with. It’s something we can all listen for.

As we look forward to Labor Day just a few days from now, we can honor the holiday by making an effort to enrich our relationships with the people we work with.

One way is to be observant and pay attention to those emotional threads our colleagues at work reveal to us. It’s to be a good listener. And listening starts with noticing the emotional clues we discover in our relationships at work.

Here’s a poem by James A. Autry that sums this up well.



Sometimes you just connect,
like that,
no big thing maybe
but something beyond the usual business stuff.
It comes and goes quickly
so you have to pay attention,
A change in the eyes
When you ask about the family,
a pain flickering behind the statistics
about a boy and a girl in school,
or about seeing them every other Sunday.
An older guy talks about his bride,
A little affection. After twenty-five years.
A hot-eyed achiever laughs before you want him to.
Someone tells about his wife’s job
or why she quit working to stay home.
An older joker needs another laugh on the way
to retirement.
A woman says she spends a lot of her salary
on an au pair
and a good one is hard to find
but it is worth it because there is nothing more important
than the baby.
In every office
you hear the threads
of love and joy and fear and guilt,
the cries for celebration and reassurance,
and somehow you know that connecting those threads
is what you are supposed to do,
and business just takes care of itself.


What threads are you seeing in your relationships where you work? How are you connecting those threads with your own experiences that deepen those relationships?  When you do your life will be enriched.

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts on all this.

By the way, did you know this blog and podcast are sponsored by Caring for Others, a missionary care ministry?  We depend upon the generosity of donors to pay our bills.  If you'd like to support what we do with a secure online, tax-deductible donation, please click here. We'd be so grateful if you did. It will enable us to reach and serve more people.

There's more to come next Wednesday, for it’s opening day of Season 4 of the You Were Made for This podcast! Masks are optional. Carol and I, along with the rest of our broadcast staff, will be social distancing. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts.