Posts Tagged ‘ Assume ’

British vs. American Culture!

Leading In Levi’s

You have to love the dress code.  It’s a set of rules on what to wear in the work place, but rules are meant to be broken…  Think of the employee that comes into your office who likes wearing the same shirt they wear on laundry day, or the person dressed in those grey sweat pants on a daily basis. (Are those the same pants you had on three days in a row?) 

These individuals are the topics of the water cooler conversations at your work place, but most of the remarks seem to be negative.  Sure, they might not have a taste in clothing that we agree with, but these negative comments always make us forget how these employees actually perform.  We quickly forget that the person wearing the brown khakis with the shredded pant legs is also the same person that helped us meet our project deadline last week. 

Why is it that we’re so quick to pass judgment, especially based on appearances?  I’m not saying you shouldn’t look professional, especially in front of customers, but how do the clothes you wear impact your performance?  After all, some of today’s greatest leaders are walking around in jeans.  Look at Steve Jobs, who is at the helm one of the most successful technology companies in the world.  Even in the political world, President Obama has been seen on occasion wearing jeans.  Both of these individuals are greatly successful, but their appearances don’t always show it.

Today’s lesson is this: The look doesn’t matter as much as the act.  Don’t cast someone out because of the way they appear.  It’s who they are and how they perform which really matters.

Now, where are my fuzzy pink slippers?

Assume the Best Intentions

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce you to a simple yet revolutionary concept. It is one that has changed my life and allowed me to view people and situations through an entirely different, more positive, lens. It is called, “Assume the Best Intentions.”

This mantra was introduced to me when I joined the Coaching Services department here at Blanchard. It is one of our team norms and actually reads like this, “We give people the benefit of the doubt and assume the best intentions.” Simple? Yes. Revolutionary? If you don’t already approach your daily interactions with this in mind, then yes.

Like many of you, I was taught a different saying about what happens when you “assume.” I’m sure you know the one I’m talking about. Therefore, I rarely assumed anything. But, when I was introduced to this team norm, I was intrigued by this new idea and decided I’d buy in to it. I’m so thankful that I did because it has greatly improved my mental approach when encountered with challenging interactions and situations.

Now, when I get THOSE e-mails, I no longer immediately jump to the conclusion that the sender has it in for me or is trying to make my life difficult. I admit I used to go there and admit it, you sometimes do too. When I’m faced with one of these moments, I take a deep breath and briefly attempt to understand where the other person is coming from. I give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they have the best intentions. In most cases, they actually are coming from a good place and, surprisingly, really don’t have it out for you and aren’t trying to make your life difficult. I know, hard to believe but trust me on this one.

Keep in mind that in most cases the person that you are dealing with is trying to do what they believe is best given the knowledge that they have on the issue in question. Here’s the kicker…in most of those cases, that person’s knowledge is either limited or different than your own. That’s not a bad thing. However, it does require you to be a bit more patient and understanding.

Adopt this as one of your norms. When you give people the benefit of the doubt and assume they have the best intentions, you will be rewarded with a healthier mental outlook and more positive and productive interactions.

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