How hard is it to assume positive intent? Do you believe that people come to work to do a bad job, to screw up, get in your way or otherwise obstruct you? If that happens, do you think that they did it deliberately?
What a horrible world it would be if that were the case.
And yet every day, in every profession there seems to be more and more examples of this happening. In the UK there is a move to create league tables for the medical profession – including surgeons.
Stop and think about the implications of that for a moment. Behaviour is governed by multiple factors – two of which are recognition and compensation. Surgeons do risky jobs, the best surgeons do the most risky jobs – they are the ‘go to’ people when cases are close to hopeless.
If your performance affects these factors, why not just take the safe routes?
We are lucky enough to live near Oxford – John Radcliffe is home to some of the best in the world, and amongst other things is home to the Oxford University Medical School.
My sons life was saved by an incredible surgical team – but there was a very great risk associated with the operations.
Would the surgeon have taken the chance if it could affect his standing in a league table – of course, his priority was not his life, but that of our child. So why do we need league tables?
Does anyone think a doctor comes to work to screw up? Despite all the talk of ‘like for like’ comparisons in these tables, no two patients are the same – so how can that possibly work.
In every part of life it’s the same – how much smoother would your day go if for the next 24 hours you assumed that every interaction you had was with someone who meant the best.
No matter how much of an incompetent jerk you think they are – here’s the thing – they are trying to help. Think the best of people. Wouldn’t you prefer it if people always thought the best of you? You might just learn something too.
Change your perspective.
Stand by that principle for just one day and see what a difference it makes.