Assume Positive Intent

It’s All a Matter of Perspective

Consider this all-too-familiar scenario: You’re driving to work behind an SUV that abruptly stops before an intersection. No turn signal, no warning. Just stops in the middle of the street. How inconsiderate! You could have wrecked! So you lay on the horn, angry and flustered, yelling a few choice words.

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What’s your problem?

Recently we were working with a group of leaders and discussing an issue about an employee. The issue the leader brought up was how to get an employee to look for multiple options in order to solve a specific problem. As we do in many sessions, the group took turns asking questions about the situation. No one is allowed to offer solutions until the issue is fully vetted. This process forces the other leaders not to jump in to solve the problem right away, but get to the root cause of the situation.

Through this process, the team discovered that the situation that was being discussed was merely a symptom of a much larger issue. The leader that brought the situation to the group had been repeatedly frustrated by some of the actions of this employee but had not looked beyond whatever the current ‘problem’ was.

How often does it happen where we address concerns with an employee multiple times but don’t really get the problem solved? 

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What the Heck?!

Let’s face it – on a daily basis, someone will do something you don’t like. Here’s your moment of truth. Whether it’s cutting you off in traffic, not replying to an email within your timeframe, or not following a specific process…it will happen. And when it does, what’s your first thought?

I know…It depends. I hate that response, though it may be true. Let’s talk about when someone cuts you off in traffic. Do you yell at the person? Shake your fist? Or something more drastic? Do you ever think, “What the heck?! Learn how to drive!”

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