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File this under Humanistic Leadership. When it comes to dealing with people, differences of opinion are very common. It always amazed me how many people, when they have a disagreement with a coworker assume evil intentions to their coworker, creating needless conflict where none need exist. That’s because people don’t bother to question the assumptions they are making to figure out whether what they think is a problem is actually a problem. This is one of the reasons why Humanists spend so much time engaging critical thinking. We don’t like to waste our time chasing after paper tigers. We want to focus our time on real problems and not on imaginary ones.
For instance, if you are having a disagreement with someone over tactics, take the time to respectfully ask this person WHY they are focusing on the solution they are. You may just find out that you overlooked something important. Most people just want to try and do the right thing. By taking the time to not fight people with different ideas, but to learn from them, you may turn what could have been an adversarial situation into an alliance. Always remember, winning an argument doesn’t do you any good if your ultimate solution doesn’t work. Never assume you know all that you need to know and always treat people with differing ideas with respect. Don’t assume your coworkers are out to get you unless you have verified that they are really out to get you. Reality matters.
The other mistake people make is they tend to completely ignore problems that arise because; they literally refuse to believe they have a problem. It’s called denial and we all do it to some extent. I am always amazed at the amount of energy people put into their denials. It would be way easier to just accept the new challenges you have to face, but people are often afraid to do so. Since it is always better to accept reality for what it is, the next time someone brings you bad news, and you don’t want to believe it, force yourself to do a little research and find out if the bad news is real or not. That way you won’t act like a complete reality denying idiot nor will you waste your time and energy on problems that aren’t real.
To recap – knowing what is real is important. If you don’t know if a problem is real or not, you will waste time fixing non-problems and you will ignore the problems you have. Don’t waste your time and energy, embrace reality instead.