Saturday, June 1, 2013

Am I Giving People Too Much Credit ?

When working with a new Manager, there is always a point in time when you just get a sense of what kind of relationship you're going to have with them.  It might be a good one or a bad one or a laugh-a-minute one or a serious one or any number of other possible kinds of interpersonal connections.  Regardless, it is always nice when you find out it's going to be a very helpful and good relationship.

Several months ago, while chatting with my current Manager we came to a mutual awareness that we assume a certain level of intellect in others based on their age/experience or position/title.  As the chat continued, we further realized that this perception is often not accurate and can actually lead to a strained relationship.  Some people are most likely just not going to learn or get smarter or better.  They either are incapable of higher thoughts or are just not interested in making improvements.  They likely 'peaked' at some point in the past and decided that they 'made it.'  But this doesn't keep them from getting older and/or even advancing their title or position at work.  The truly wise person can recognize the wisdom, or lack thereof, around themselves and work with it or around it.

It was in that relatively brief conversation that I realized I was going to have a great relationship with my current Manager.  I have no idea if she views me as one who has any wisdom, but I know that I can learn from hers.  I also know that she can be honest with me, without being rude or mean.  It would surprise most people to realize that I have low self-esteem when it comes to my leadership abilities.  This Manager has already begun to improve my confidence in myself, simply by helping me realize what I do well and helping me clearly define what I need to work on.

One example ... stop assuming people have a certain level of intellect or that they can or even want to improve.  Confirm their knowledge.  Test their ability to learn and grow.  Then spend time with those who can or really want to improve and limit your 'wasted' time with those who don't.

Song Of The Day:
In the line of thinking of age and wisdom, "As Time Goes By" sung by the great Jimmy Durante, is the pick for today.  Although the song is mainly about love, there are some phrases that can easily apply to other things, most notably ... "The fundamental things apply, as time goes by"


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