WHY Fronts: Pride & Prejudice
AUTHOR: CHRIS WOODGATE
Yes I do love Jane Austen and can be often found re-reading her novels for the underlying wit and commentary on her culture/time and people that lived within it. My favourite is Persuasion but Pride & Prejudice is probably better known. So how does this help you in managing a team/service?
With experience comes a little bit of pride known as ‘been there, seen that, done it, got the carrier bag’, do we recognise it as pride? I have said this often in jest but actually there is a little bit of pride too. Do we ever know it all, does someone from outside really know or not know better than us?
Pride stops us trying, how do we make sure we don’t trip over our own pride? How about the five points below?
1) Work to obtain all the knowledge you can about what you want to achieve. (Do you really know it all?)
2) Fix your mind on your purpose. Persist! Seek! The trouble with most people is they quit before they start or they get side-tracked by a portion of the problem. (Too difficult a problem?)
3) Keep searching, no matter how many times you meet with disappointment. (There are no maps to success)
4) Refuse to be influenced by the fact that someone else tried the same thing and failed. (You see from a different perspective, you are unique)
5) Stay ‘sold’ on the idea that somewhere a solution to the problem exists, and you’ll find it
Gandhi said, ‘You may never know what results come from your action, but if you do nothing there will be no results.’ In spite of the obstacles, the ‘enemy’, and the pressure – he refused to give up. He never let pride get in the way of his journey to success.
Prejudice -is pre-judging. It makes you see those who don’t endorse what you believe as enemies. You attribute commendable qualities to the circle you move in, and negative ones to those outside it. Ever felt like that, “they don’t understand, ‘imaging/CT/MR etc.’ is very different, if they understood it would be different”. Are you sure they don’t understand or have the wherewithal to understand, what can you do to change that?
Have you ever jumped to conclusions before all the evidence is in, without listening to the other point of view or evidence the ‘others’ have? How about using some of the points below?
1) Face your prejudice. List all the people you don’t count as friends/colleagues, people you actually go out of your way not to have anything to do with, and start by being open and listening. Even if they are ‘totally off the wall’ you never know what nuggets of sense you may find if you dig deep enough.
2) Drop the mask. Ask yourself what it is about the other person that bothers you. Are there similarities between you? Are they expressing something you’re hiding from? This is the ‘ouch’ moment but worthwhile.
3) Get to know the other person. Try to find common ground with everyone, whether or not you decide to continue the relationship. If you do you may discover the power of your mind to obstruct, delude, and turn something into what it’s not; i.e. - your prejudices. That way you deal with them or at least acknowledge that you may not be viewing problems/solutions with a clear head.
In Synergy I talk about how all staff can be involved in thinking and planning don’t let Pride & Prejudice get in the way of listening to their solutions or acknowledging their perception is different to yours. They may have something to add to your understanding and you never know the ‘difficult’ person may not be so ‘difficult’ after all.