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|People Thoughts - You Are Not Me
I watched a porcupine climb to the very top
of the honey locust tree 60 or so feet above
my office window to eat his favorite leaves.
My first thought was amazement
that he knows which tree to climb when all of
the leaves are way up there.
Of course, just because I can't recognize a
honey locust by anything other than its
leaves does not mean a porcupine is so limited!
But for a brief moment there, I assumed that
porcupine would see the trees the way I do.
If I can assume a porcupine and I have that
much in common, even for just a minute,
imagine how easily I can assume that other
people think, know, and believe as I do.
In my experience, we all do this constantly,
maybe not with porcupines, but with other
people, and it causes tremendous problems.
Our assumptions of commonality prevent us
from listening carefully, explaining
patiently, testing for understanding, and
even ensuring we are talking
about the same thing before we rattle on and on.
Furthermore, when we assume others think and
believe as we do, anything they do that
differs from what we would do becomes grounds
for concluding carelessness, incompetence,
or intentional sabotage.
You are not me and I am not you. Our
thoughts, knowledge, and beliefs differ
enough to pretty much guarantee we are not on
the same page.
- Listen more carefully
- Take the time to ask clarifying
- Trust that most of the time people are
raising points you have not considered, and
- Always give the benefit of the doubt if
their behavior does not match what you think
you would do.
|Book Thoughts - Now Available!
If you find my Clear Thoughts™
newsletter helpful, get a copy of my book,
Clear Thoughts -
Pragmatic Gems of Better Business Thinking!
Take advantage of free shipping when you buy
extra copies for all your managers,
supervisors, and high-potential employees!
|Project Management Thoughts - 8 Tips for Excellence
The difference between decent project
management and excellent project management
can be measured in delays, cost overruns,
lost customers, employee misery, and business
jeopardy. Boeing's Dreamliner provides a
great example of all five.
So what are the secrets of the top project
managers? What do they do differently that
makes their projects finish on-time,
on-budget, and with good results?
|Parting Thoughts - T or F? Goats Climb Trees
If you said 'false,' you are pretty normal
and apparently have yet to encounter this
popular YouTube video:
16 Goats in a Tree
Easy to miss that little fact! But do you
also realize that gray foxes, which live
throughout most of the US, also climb
It is easy to voice amazement when you learn
knew things that you aren't really expected
to know. But how do you react when you hear
something new that you feel you should have
We are all loaded with 'facts' that
may not be true. And we are often afraid of
looking foolish for what we don't know, so we
accept additional 'facts' from
others without question. We learn even more
'facts' daily on the Internet.
I was once honored with a certificate that
read "Most Likely to Dispute Recognized
Authorities," a good-natured jab at my
constant questions. It is the only framed
certificate I saved from decades in
corporate America. It came at a perfect time
because I had young daughters and I decided
then to raise them as best I could to deserve
such a certificate.
skepticism benefits all but it takes courage.
I encourage you, as a manager, leader, or
parent, to foster skepticism. Set a good
example by challenging assumptions yourself.
And be sure your behavior encourages those who
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© 2009 Ann Latham. All rights reserved.
Summer Thoughts - Fleeting, Isn't It?
With the summer sliding too quickly away, I
am preparing to launch a new service next
month designed for those situations where
a full-scale consulting or coaching
engagement seems unnecessary. When you are
looking for some quick help with a difficult
situation or could accelerate progress with
the help of a confidential sounding-board,
this option is for you. Watch for details in
September. In the meantime, have a great
final month of summer (or winter, my southern
Uncommon Clarity helps clients dramatically
improve individual and organizational
performance. We can help you sharpen your
focus and your methods so you achieve your
business objectives. But don't take my word
what others have to say.