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The Fact is Also the Fundamental Lie (Part One)

Photo by Desiree Delgado

Photo by Desiree Delgado

We humans are a complex bunch.  We haven’t quite evolved to where our pre-frontal cortex can separate out fact from perception, as much as we might think and believe that we have.  I haven’t.  You haven’t.

So, what does that mean and why should you care?

Well, whenever we have a difference of opinion we tend to take our own side.  Never is that more true than when we know we’re right.  Because, when we’re right, we are right, and that means that there is no “other side of the story.”

Except that there always is.

Take Janice’s story.  Janice* manages the governance group for her company, which means that her group makes sure that all money spent on programs and products is approved.  This means that people who want to get their projects done have to produce things like cost estimates, requirements, resource plans and so on.  Janice also manages program managers, and part of their job is to ensure that all projects and programs follow the process.  What this means to Janice is that anyone who doesn’t follow the approved process is wrong.  Period.

Rhonda works for Janice as a Program Manager.  Her main objective is to make sure that her client is happy, and her client tends to be the happiest when his programs get done successfully.  Her client doesn’t really care much for the approved process.  Rhonda finds “the process” to be cumbersome, and she noticed over the course of time that the governance board (of which Janice is a member) doesn’t really look at any of the supporting documentation when they approve or don’t approve a project/program.  Really, all they look at is the ROI and the description.  So, that’s all Rhonda and her team have been producing.  This worked well up until other people started to figure it out and do the same.

Janice never trusted Rhonda to begin with, and she adds this to the mounting evidence that Rhonda can’t be trusted.  After all, Janice’s group OWNS the process and when her own staff circumvents it after explicit instructions not to, which means that when anyone in Janice’s group circumvents the process, it is a direct attempt to undermine her….. at least that’s what it means to Janice.

Rhonda never realized that the “evidence” was mounting against her because over time Janice just tucked these confirming “facts” away.

However, today is difference.  Janice is spitting nails and calls Rhonda into her office.  Janice starts the conversation: “You’re always trying to find ways undermine me.”

Rhonda is shocked and jumps to her own defense.

Can you spot Janice’s fundamental lie?

Next time, we’ll look at Rhonda’s side of the story.

Be Your Best You Today,

Carolann Jacobs

p.s.- Have you ever found yourself in this type of scenario?  Misunderstood?  Blamed?  Or are you on the other side, wondering what’s wrong with people, what in the world could they be thinking? In Improve Performance NOW! we focus on improving communication and interaction to build trust, accountability and thus improve productivity.  Preview calls for the program will begin in June.  Have a look today.

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