Over-Sensitive to Influence

I was working with a manager who suffered an extreme case of recency bias. The only thing that was guaranteed was that the best idea was the last idea he had heard…

This over-sensitivity to influences and ideas can be debilitating to a team. It goes against Deming’s Rule #1, Constancy of Purpose, and shows itself in four ways:

– There are those who hide their problems behind a cheerful face. They will joke about things that go wrong, whether in their private lives or at work. I wrote about addiction as escapism, the use of alcohol, drugs or other distractions are ways to avoid confronting problems. With work, they become diplomatic peacemakers and demonstrate a real sense of inner acceptance.

– Those who find it hard to say, “no”. Eager to please, they act out of subservience rather than cooperation and are keen to “do the right thing”. They may tire easily due to their desire to serve others. With time and guidance, they follow their own path with determination and courage, sailing above the opinions of others.

– This happens a lot in organisations; people who find it difficult to adapt to change. Yet often the resistance we see is a form of self-protection, a hunkering down in order to protect their own ideals and ambitions. Life is more than work… The positive side of this is an ability to move forward and remain steadfast, immune from the distracting influences that surround us.

– Team fit. No-one likes working with people who are aggressive, envious or jealous. Yet these feelings exist to a greater or lesser extent in all of us, it is how we deal with them that matters. The memes on leadership touch on this; celebrating others’ success rather despising it, not having to control everything, letting others do their work to the best of their ability without constant criticism.

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