My manager has this quote tacked up at his desk, and I was reminded of it again when he referenced it in his weekly Creative Services email to the firm (today’s topic revolved around outbound marketing and how signal strength is measured for…*yawn* I will stop there).
I realize how comically true it is, though. Almost every minor frustration or disgruntlement in recent memory stems from a miscommunication or a misinterpretation. Whether on my behalf or by fault of another is not important — the point is that an assumption was made, that a mutual understanding had been reached.
When I pause to objectively consider my thought process, it seems that almost by default I assess the positions & policies of others as though they were making decisions with the same information & the same perceptions that I am. Which is blatantly not true.
Everyone has a story. Despite what you may think, ultimately it is more likely that you know very few details of their story (if any at all). Moreover, everyone has their own opinions about their own stories. Alleviate unnecessary tension by stepping outside of your worldly box prior to expressing an emphatic reaction.