We’re not as dumb as you think we are (usually)

18 06 2015

“When you’re the victim of the behavior, it’s black and white; when you’re the perpetrator, there are a million shades of gray.” ~Laura Schlessinger

So, you have a problem employee.  You’ve coached & encouraged them to improve performance.  They don’t, so you have to write them up, and they still don’t get it.  You agonize over the last straw, and terminate them.  In your head, you worked your butt off to try to manage them up to the standard. In their mind, they’re a good employee and you fired them.

As leaders, keep in mind that so many of the decisions that we have to make are deliberated, debated, thought about, discussed, and then finally released to the staff.  The front line staff sees the change, and says “that’s stupid, we’ve always done it the old way”.  While you probably can’t explain, in the same detail WHY we had the change, you’ll be better off if you attempt to explain the abbreviated WHY behind the it.  Sometimes that means taking the extra time to explain WHY it’s not a stupid plan (believe it or not, we don’t go out of our way to make stupid decisions – there’s almost always a good reason).  Explaining those shades of gray behind the decisions we make might just help your team understand that leadership isn’t often black & white – and we’re probably not as stupid as we sometimes look to them.

Speaking of Gray…


Rubes cartoons used with permission. www.rubescartoons.com




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