This week we’re in Canberra, running my signature Leadership Experience and the Canberra weather turned cold on the weekend and we are back in our winter woollies.
Speaking of cold, I want to share Larry’s story with you this week.
“He won’t do what I ask him to do”, cried Larry.
“Who are you talking about?” I asked.
Larry had two boys so I assumed he was talking about one of his sons.
“My manager”, he said.
“Your manager? What do you mean?” I asked.
“I told him I wanted a stocktake done before the end of the first quarter.”
“Larry, that was a week ago.”
“Yes, but I told him to do it in January.”
“What do you mean you told him to do it in January? Do you mean you told him in January to do it in March, or you told him to do it in January?”
“I told him to do it in January”, he said with frustration.
“Oh Larry, I’m still confused. You wanted him to do the stocktake in March before the end of the quarter. You’re telling me that you told him to do it in January. To me that sounds like you told him in January and you wanted it done in January.”
“Well that’s not what I wanted”, he snapped.
“I understand that, however if you gave your manager the same instructions that you are giving me, I can understand why he didn’t do it now. Did he do it in January?”
“Yes and I was annoyed then because he didn’t do what I asked. He did it early.”
“Larry, is it possible that you are jumping to conclusions here?”
“What do you mean?”
“You said he won’t do what you ask. From what I’m hearing, he did exactly as you asked. He did it in January. It doesn’t sound to me like he isn’t doing what you told him to.”
Larry wouldn’t have it. He had decided that the manager was deliberately disobeying him. In my opinion, Larry had jumped to conclusions.
“Do you mind if I talk to him Larry”, I asked.
“Be my guest”, he huffed.
It turns out that the manager thought he was obeying Larry. He was doing his best to impress Larry. He jumped straight on to any request. He hadn’t understood that Larry was asking in January, even though he wanted the actual work carried out in March.
With a little coaxing Larry finally accepted that his manager was doing his best to please him.
This is a fabulous wake up call for us to be mindful about jumping to conclusions.
Before you decide, please take a moment to check your facts or as Steven Covey teaches us in Habit #5; “Seek first to understand then to be understood”.
It’s simple really, don’t jump to conclusions.
P.S. Our next free monthly webinar will be held on Friday 14th May at 11:00am Sydney (AEST) time. This month we’re focusing on improving team productivity through a secret system. Save the date and we’ll share more over the coming weeks.
P.P.S.Invite your friends to get the Weekly Thoughts delivered directly to their inbox. Go to https://shirleydalton.com/weekly-thoughts.