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You Misunderstood

I find it fascinating that two people can sit in a room and hear the EXACT same words and have two completely different perceptions of what was said.

Of course, it happens all day long with TV news. We are watching it unfold every day with the current political climate. I can watch and listen and, because of my beliefs, my perception is completely opposite of others.

It’s incredible.

I cannot believe that EVERY person on the planet doesn’t hear it the same way I do. Often, it seems, no matter how hard I try to convince someone to see things my way, they won’t. Unfortunately, this leads some to call the “other side” idiots or worse.

Sadly, this is the reason I spend so little time on Facebook. There are a lot of brave folks out there talking about “those people” on Facebook. Some of the people saying that are people I know and love. I wonder if they know that I might be one of “those people”?

It doesn’t matter. We can still be friends. I can respect their views even if they don’t respect mine.

It happens in the workplace too. I could share countless times that I have been in a meeting and listened to the business owner/leader tell the team what he/ she wants to get done. The team in the room nods in approval and goes back to work to get it done. Yet, a few days later, some of the team members are going in different directions. It’s as if they are working on different projects instead of the one that gained the nods of approval in the meeting.

What happened?

#1 – Lack of Clarity-

I am guilty of saying something that sounded so simple only to realize it was only simple inside my own head. The rest of the team didn’t feel the same way so they filled in the blanks to try to accomplish what they thought I asked for.

#2 – Lack of Follow-Up / Accountability-

There must be a process to make sure that the project is not going off track. Unfortunately, “basic management” isn’t so basic within some organizations.

#3 – Beliefs / Agenda-

It’s not what I believe and I cannot believe anyone would disagree with the way I heard it. This is like the TV news example I mentioned. I hate to admit that I’ve seen “bosses” call a member of their team an “idiot” or worse when this happens. They cannot believe anyone would see it any other way and they, sometimes, vocalize it. Like Facebook, I won’t spend much time with an organization if the leader exhibits this behavior.

As the leader of the team, I have to take responsibility for the situations above. I have to be super clear on what I am asking. I have to make sure to ask clarifying questions of the team involved in the execution to make sure we are all working toward the same outcomes. I have to make sure everyone feels comfortable to ask their own questions so they don’t have to fill in the blanks in their own mind.

I cannot blame others for not understanding.

I cannot point fingers at those that don’t “get it”.

I also cannot allow for excuses to happen when the project gets off track or isn’t completed to a high standard. I hired them and trained them. Where did I go wrong?

It is my job to provide clarity and put the right people in a position to succeed. Anything short of that and I have failed as a leader. I don’t care which cable news channel you choose to believe. We can still work together and do great work together.


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