One of the most frustrating things about working for other people is figuring out why they do such dumb things. Incomprehensible/ dumb decisions seem designed to make your life difficult and stop useful progress.
It might be something as large as relocation, reorganization, or laying people off – or as minor as requiring useless codes on your TPS reports.
Here’s the key to understanding these decisions: They always make sense to the people who make them, given the environment they’re working in.
It’s quite common to see a different set of circumstances than your boss has. Most likely she’s trying to make a different set of people happy, or has a different view of the task at hand, or is measured on different things than you do.
Or, perhaps your boss just thinks things through differently than you would. He has a different form of logic, incorporates emotion and intuition differently, and looks at a variety of other factors.
I’ve challenged many people to change their thinking by pondering this statement: If you were in their shoes, you’d probably make the same decision. That can be hard to accept, but most often it’s true. It’s because you have a different understanding of the situation that would lead you to do something different.
I’m not saying that one is right and the other wrong, or even better or worse. In my experience, it’s more often that decisions look “dumb” because I don’t understand the logic, or am inconvenienced, or just would have done something different myself. My task, then, is to try to figure out why it makes sense in that person’s situation.
I go to the trouble of doing this because it helps me to live with the result. It’s almost always an opportunity to learn and grow, even develop useful relationships. That’s quite different from changing the way I think; it’s about understanding others and being able to willingly align when necessary.
What decisions have been bugging you recently?
by Carl Dierschow