Our Guidepost of last week triggered some thoughts about this area of getting facts and using data as opposed to guessing or using just gut level instincts. The use of gut level instincts cannot be diminished in the workplace. It absolutely has its contribution level when sorting through many of the challenges that face business leaders. The key here is to not overweight any one thing to arrive at a conclusion you are looking to or trying to achieve. This is where our gut level instincts can be hijacked by our biases.
Over our lifetime we are involved with many different situations. These input points cause us to form models in our head or heuristics to deal with these situations when they occur on a regular basis. Like having habits or routines, our mind also has habits or routines to solve situations that we have seen previously, took some action and we perceive the situation to be the same and desire a similar outcome. If the previous situation’s outcome was not so positive, we tend to toss this approach away as it did not give us what we wanted. When the action we took produced a positive outcome to our needs, we then validate this and move it into future use storage.
One challenge for leaders is that we are all pressed for time, and we allow our biases, heuristics, and other mind habits to filter data into packs which we then assemble into a story. Depending on if we think we have seen this story before we again filter the actions taken to project an outcome similar to a positive outcome from the past. One of the pieces which can be missing here is what defined a positive outcome? Was it your criteria or was it to a business standard that validated it to be good? This is where some leaders have challenges. Their past results were only based on their view and not the broader or standard view of the organization or society in general. They validate only against a much smaller data set rather than to a significantly larger norm.
For those of you whom I have had a direct interaction with you or your organization, you might recall a phrase I use for my own development. That phrase is – Trust but Validate. As a leader on multiple fronts, it is critical that a relationship of trust and confidence exist between everyone involved. If trust cannot be established too much time is wasted on second guessing or taking counterproductive actions between those involved. My phrase starts with trust and then as needed validates to a defined outcome or result which all involved are in agreement with. If the outcome is defined, then we can validate the trust to achieve the deliverables together.
The trust and details of the agreed to result become the facts of the situation. By getting the facts up front, delays in the process are minimized to only those items which are anomalies and not recurring typical items which should have been planned for by the up-front effort. When the direction drifts from its course, trusting in the team understanding and appreciating contribution for all members, the navigation back to on target is quicker and with far less drama.
This week as you build your leadership talents and engage your team to do the same, look at your means for starting out with the facts and then trusting and validating as you proceed to your next success. Having trouble getting to a solid set of facts and then struggling to keep the team on track? JKL Associates and a Promise Guide are here to assist in building your organization’s culture. Reach out to us for an initial conversation to see if we are a solid fit for your growth plan. Call JKL Associates at FL (407) 984-7246 or MI (313) 527-7945
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