Thursday, December 1, 2011

Check out assumptions

Surprise results from a workplace survey. The middle managers thought there would be a big difference: they expected that line workers would have money and not working too hard at the top of their list of things they value about work. Middle management said they, by contrast, would prioritise things like 'challenging task' and 'being creative.'

The surprise was that both lists looked a lot more like the managers' list, with money way down the pecking order for both groups. What we want from work.

It's easy to assume negative stuff about others. But it's equally easy to assume that everyone else thinks, feels and acts the same way that we do. Senior leaders often assume the same intensity and passion in those elsewhere in the organization without realising that it's their job in part to instil that passion through casting vision.

It's too easy to act on assumptions without checking them out first. The more we can bring expectations out into the open and reach shared agreement the easier it is to work with people.
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