Everyone is different. Everyone is their own unique person.
Just because they don’t think or feel like you, that doesn’t mean that they are wrong. People typically do the best they can. Rarely do people intentionally set out to annoy others or create conflict. If somebody says or does something that makes you feel tension, take a step back and look as objectively as possible on the situation. Assume that they have positive intent. If you only do one thing, let it be this one – assume positive intent.
The positive intent may not be clear to you as you don’t always have the full context or particular experience of the other person. They may have had something happen which has unsettled them, or they may be stressed or under pressure. We don’t always know what is going on in people’s life. However, just because it’s not easy to grasp what the positive intention is, it’s fair to assume there is one.
I don’t believe that people wake up in the morning thinking “who can I treat poorly today?” Always assume positive intent.
When we are intentionally curious and accepting of others, it’s easier to assume positive intent. Our mindset is shifted to a state where we want the best for the other person. We can then more easily be accepting of differing views – and see the value in them. And break down barriers, build relationships of trust, collaboration and courage – where we can make mistakes, learn and innovate, without being harshly judged for daring to try something new or maybe just daring to speak up and challenge.
My failures have been errors in judgment, not of intent.
Ulysses S Grant
Challenging, differing views, when seen with positive assumption, create better dialogue, more perspective and better solutions.
Want to create the best possible relationships?
Then start by assuming positive intent.
About the authors
Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, multi-award-winning authors of “Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions” and ”The Team Formula”.
Their latest book “The Leader’s Guide to Impact” published in 2019 by Financial Times International is an in-depth practical guide to creating the impact you want.
You can download a free chapter of the book at www.2020visionleader.com
Praise for “The Leader’s Guide to Impact” – “If there is one book you read on leadership, this is it. It’s jam-packed with practical tips, stories and frameworks to help you to be the best leader you can possibly be by taking control of your impact on those around you. Elisabet and Mandy hit the leadership nail on the head every time! I wish this book was around 20 years ago!”
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