Shep Englander — Federation Journal
Fundamental #27 — Assume Positive Intent
ASSUME POSITIVE INTENT — Work from the assumption that people are good, fair, and honest, and that the intent behind their actions is positive. Set aside your own judgments and preconceived notions. Give people the benefit of the doubt.
This week’s Fundamental is easier said than done. We are wired to string limited facts into a story, usually a story in which we take things personally. Especially, when we are stressed or upset, it seems obvious that the other person acted unfairly towards us.
Often, stepping back from the situation gives us space to reconsider whether a well-intentioned misunderstanding might explain the other’s actions. Even when the other person did in fact have some motivations that were not well-intentioned, approaching them as if they had been well intentioned is the most effective way to move forward. This Fundamental is necessary to achieve the “Practice Blameless Problem Solving” Fundamental.
I’m interested in other’s views on how to embody this important and challenging Fundamental.
See here for Shep’s comments on all the fundamentals so far.