A Fundamental Error You Often Make

January 21, 2013

Good morning! It is cold and getting colder up here in northeastern Indiana! Below zero temperatures are on the way according to the weather reports.MI Sunset by Lauren

You know, being a leader and a good team member is hard work – even when everything is going right! But because we are flawed human beings, there are things that get in the way and make effective teamwork even more difficult. The frustrating thing for me is that most often, the problem is with me – and you.

One of the common issues we have to overcome is what called the fundamental attribution error. Basically we have a tendency to attribute the negative, irritating, and frustrating behaviors of others to their intentions, their personalities or their character while attributing our own negative behaviors simply to environmental factors. Another sort of way I have heard this said is that we judge others by their actions and judge ourselves by our intentions.

Do you see the problem there? We assume the worst about others, but give ourselves the benefit of the doubt. When you are part of a leadership team what do you think that does to trust? It breaks down trust or prevents it from being built in the first place.

We have to learn how to assume the best about others and their intentions. We need to learn the habit of first seeking to understand others rather than seeking to be understood. At the root of this really is are we self-centered or God and others centered?

Today, before judging and assuming the worst about someone, try seeking to understand them and their situation.

Hope you have a great day today!