We meet people whom we just can’t seem to meet eye to eye, so we make false assumptions about them harboring negative thoughts and thinking of ill will. However, you must consider hearing both sides out. What if your assumptions are not true after all? The only way to know is to address it by reaching out to them to talk things through. This situation can be all too familiar in businesses. Sometimes, we meet employees and clients who are just totally different from us. You have to remember that maybe they also have something different of their own to give to your company. Ken and Kerri offer some insights to reflect when you’re faced with dealing with false assumptions.
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This is Ken and Kerri Courtright from Minooka, Illinois. Episode 275 of Today’s Growth Growing Business. I’m with my beautiful bride, Kerri. She is sitting wrapped, not in swaddling clothing but in a cast because she chose to jump rope and it was an inch and a half thick rope. As the rope, which is very heavy, was spinning around and above her body and her head, it slipped a little bit. She decided to step on it with her right foot and crack one of her bones three inches long. Not only is it cracked, it slipped an eighth of an inch, so now it has to have surgery and it is so much fun.
I have my wife all to myself. I get to snuggle her, sit next to her and now podcast with her. We decided to do a couple of podcasts together. This first one we are going to call False Assumptions. We’re going to ramble a little bit because we have some episodes that we just lived through that shed a lot of light. I podcasted about one. Kerri’s got one and I’m going to add some nuggets on at the end. I’m going to turn it over to Kerri about the concept of false assumptions.
Loyalty and following direction are extremely important in business. Click To Tweet
This is a great one because it fits into not only do business but into every facet of your life. I’m going to tie it back to business and since it was a business event. We’re at an event and we had a few staff members for our company with us and it was a great event. We had a lot of clients around us and when we’re away there was a lot of direction that happens really quick, so I might need this. I need someone to go get it really quick so there’s not a lot of time for discussion, which is probably part of the situation here. I had asked this particular employee of ours to do something and initially, that employee did do it and walked away. About three hours later, I saw the employee again and I had asked this employee to do again what I asked this employee to do the first time.
I walked away. A few hours later, I came back. The problem was he did it the first time. He didn’t do it the second time. I’m looking at it through my perimeter, through my glasses as an employee who blatantly chose not to obey a direction that I had given him, something that was very integral to the situation. Every other employee had done this particular thing that needed to get done, and so everyone else was in unison except for him. The next morning, we disbanded. Everyone went back to work and I had asked his superior what happened in a superior what happened and the superior said he did not know. I asked him to check into it. He said he didn’t want to do this particular task. I was very disappointed and very upset over the whole situation because as a business owner, that’s not the type of person I want working for me, so I had thought ill will of this particular person, but in the area that this person was in, he was exceptionally competent.
What do you do? You need something done that seems minor at the time, but it’s very major in the fact that the perception is the employee is not listening to you or you have a company to run, other families are on the line. Loyalty and following direction are extremely important. On the flip side, this particular employee is exceptionally well on what he does and there’s something to be said for doing a great job. Typically, I will be the first person to say let the person go. However, with talking to his superiors, they said, “Please don’t. It’s not the right thing to do. Every other aspect is glory. He has wonderful reviews. Clients love this particular person. His associates like working with him.” Finally, almost a year later walked in and said, “I have a situation. I just need to deal with it.”
Before that, a different person, one of our C-Suites said, “I need you to come into a meeting. This person will be there that you’re not very happy with, but this person has a lot of things to share with you that are great ideas for the company. I like you to listen.” The company to me comes first, so I listened and heard great ideas again from this person. I was confused why this person would be so kind to my face and have great ideas and wanting to actually do great things with the company. A few days later, I received a telephone call. It’s his superior, the C-level superior who urged this particular person to give me a call. We had a great discussion, so the title of this is False Assumptions. I come to find out again, almost a year later, the tasks that I asked this person to do was completed. Three hours later, the tasks again had been completed but unfortunately, there were ramifications that did not allow this person to get it done.
He had asked a different superior to come and talk to me to explain why he was not able to get this particular thing done and that person, as well as my assistant, both told him I was extremely busy. It was not a good time, so he did make the outreach unbeknownst to me to handle the situation, to talk to me. The situation was that it would have been excusable. It was my misunderstanding of his behavior. I had a perception. He had a perception. He was doing everything that he could. He thought he was doing it right and I never knew that he was trying to reach out. The biggest problem is the timeframe. You cannot wait ten months. You cannot wait that long in order to address the situation from either side. It needs to be done.
If it’s not done that day, that’s fine but it needs to be done within a week. You have a company to run, you have a household run, you’ve got a friendship to build. Whatever the misunderstanding, wherever it happens, you need to get over it and move on. If it was disloyalty, which in my case, it was not, then that person should have been gone whether or not they were excellent at what they did because you cannot have someone working against you in your own company. Luckily for us in this situation, this was a person who was not trying to work against us but had a very, very exceptional reason for why he did not complete the task, which he did originally, but was not able to fulfill the task. Had I known, I would not have held an opinion that was not true.
You can get a lot more done if you just address this situation. It’s not fun to address the situation, but it’s best for both parties. We’re productive for both parties emotionally, physically, as a friend of ours would say your cortisol level will be a lot lower if you had just addressed the situation. We had an open relationship, which I thought we did but it’s business. It’s a delicate line to address your superior. We could have been a little bit further ahead in a department or two because the ideas would have come a lot sooner than ten months later. I urge you, whatever facet you happen to have a misunderstanding or a person that you might have difficulties with to address it. If it’s the right thing to continue the partnership or relationship, go for it. If it’s not, at least you know your part in the company and that means there’s someone else waiting to fulfill your friendship or your business employment opportunity. Go ahead, address it. Don’t wait and be a lot more productive.
In order to address the situation from either side, it needs to be done immediately. Click To Tweet
The title of this is False Assumption. Part of it is if you have a feeling towards someone and it’s not positive, sometimes it’s difficult to approach them because you think you saw the situation for what it was. I want to make a blanket statement. Kerri mentioned about the cortisol levels where if you are harboring ill will toward someone and you can even name them, you can clearly see their face sometimes when you’re the one holding it in, the body that is receiving the most damage is the one holding it in. That’s what our buddy, David Corbin, means by your cortisol levels. Stress is very often a trigger to physical ailments. A lot of times you can just release stress by having a conversation with someone. You’re holding some preconceived notion towards, but I want to flip it to the other side.
There is such a danger of false assumptions and the reality is you really don’t know an assumption is true or false unless you reach out and talk to someone. If you are dealing with someone right now, an employee, a spouse, a friend, girlfriend, boyfriend or a coworker and you think you have an idea of something but you know you need some clarity, I urge you to reach out to them. Get some clarity on it and just say, “This is the way I’m viewing it. What is your take on this?” Take them for coffee. Don’t do it over the phone if you can and then just see where it goes because false assumptions can be very dangerous for both sides. We hope this helps. Take care.