Mercy. That isn't a word you hear very often, but it just might be the secret to building a great team. It's first known use was in the 13th century from the Latin for "price paid," a merchant term for the payment of a debt by someone else. It shows itself in acts of kindness, sympathy, compassion and understanding.
So, how can I use mercy to build my team? First, you can use it to get past a mistake--yours our someone else's. We all make mistakes. Seldom do we do them on purpose. So stop treating yourself or others as if they were done on purpose.
Second, you can use mercy when someone does the wrong thing "on purpose." We do what we do because it made sense at the time. Later we may learn that it was the wrong thing. It may be we didn't have the right information. It may be we didn't know of any other option because we lacked the knowledge or experience. It may be because what we thought was true wasn't true at all.
I'm not suggesting the use of mercy for things done to harm, embarrass, or demean. What I am suggesting is that when the doer of wrong repents--to express sorrow or fault, and seek to make amends--then mercy may be the right path and perhaps the only path back onto the team and slowly back to a position of trust.
Without mercy, mistakes become mountains no one can cross. And bad behavior becomes a capital offense. I know the behavior may so egregious that the person needs to go. But many times, the person and the talent needed by the team can be save. And it can be saved with a little bit of mercy. If it is just a mistake, show mercy. If it was intentional, but repentance is shown, show mercy.
There is an added bonus. When mixed with justice you become authentic, genuine, truthful and transparent. When mixed with humility you become generous, willing to help or give freely.
The next time you are faced with a mistake or even a wrong, try mercy. You will be glad you did.