MasterPo says: This blog is about topics and issues that are of importance to me. I am not one of the countless blogging lemmings that are tripping over each other scurrying down the hill and off the cliff of blogging oblivion trying to write the greatest blog on the latest topic de'jour. Your comments are welcome.

November 25, 2008

Truth is in The Eye of the Beholder

(also the title of a great "Twlight Zone" episode)

It has been said that preception is 9/10th's reality. In the movie "Star Wars:The Clone Wars" the younger Obe Wan Kenobi constantly tells his apprentice Atikin Skywalker "Focus! Your focus determines your reality".

Probably so.

But most regrettably, we cannot always control how others perceive our actions. So much is open to individual interpretation. I am often so amazed that anything gets accomplished the way it’s supposed to be because actions, words, tones (or the lack thereof) are so often misjudged and misguided.

Here are just a few of a great many examples:

Recently my wife and I were watching an episode of a cooking show were teams of bakers had to make a cake in a particular theme (can’t remember the name of the show). One team, the cake sculpture they were trying to make just wasn’t coming together as the lead baker wanted. He tried several innovations on the spot but it still wasn’t working. They were running short on time. He was very dejected. The head baker wanted to drop out saying he’d rather drop out of the competition than submit a poor quality result. However, the judges said (to the camera audience) if he drops out he will always be remembered for having quit. (By the way, the judges They convinced him to stay in and eventually his team did produce a cake for judging, albeit not the best. His team didn’t win.)

Different perceptions. Who was right?

At a place I once worked a project manager left. Not sure if he quit or was fired. One of the last things he did before he left was send an email to the biggest client he supported, someone who was always calling for support and hand-holding, saying that he was no longer with the company and until someone else is assigned his account the client should contact the PMO directly for support issues. In the PM’s mind he probably thought he was doing a good, professional thing notifying a major client where to go for support in the interim so the client doesn’t get left out in the cold before someone else could be assigned. However, the PMO went ballistic calling the PM all kinds of nasty names (he was gone by then). To the PMO this wasn’t the right thing to do.

Different perceptions. Who was right?

Recently at my job I attended a meeting who the business community to review two vendor software packages as replacements for an in-house developed system. From a technical IT perspective both were similar. No great objections or benefits either way. To me it came down to which met the specific details of the business employees who would be using the software. As such, that was my input to the project. I am not a business user who will be using the software so I didn’t feel I was in a position of expertise to be able to say for sure one over the other. But that wasn’t good enough for my manager who ripped into me for not being decisive in selecting one instead of the other. I related why I didn’t take a stand but he didn’t care.

Different perceptions. Who was right?

What you call persistance someone else calls nagging.
What you call tenancity someone else calls being a pain in the ass.
What you call being assertive someone else calls forceful.
What you call holding steady to youir beliefs and point of view someone else calls uncompromising.

We have no control over what people think of what we say or do. Even if we so carefully pick our words, inflections, and actions there is no telling for sure how someone else will interpret them.

I have no solution to this, except to say: Focus.

MasterPo says: If you enjoyed this article make sure to subscribe in a reader (one of the last good free things in life!)

No comments: