20 Oct

Standards and Practices


“Well, that’s not how I would do it.”

How I hate that phrase.

Where does it come from? Ego? Lack of trust? Or something else? Why do we get not only in our own way, but in the way of others we want to help, or of those trying to help us?

Whether individuals or companies, we get so wrapped up in how we want things done that we often sacrifice getting anything done at all.

And for what? So we can say something was done to our standards? That it was done “our way”?

But at what point does our insistence on that turn into insurmountable friction? When do we make things so hard that people (ourselves included) don’t even try?

Let people start where they are. To get someone to produce something to your standards, they have to produce something to their standards first. Once they’ve done that, then they’re in a position to see the difference between what they’ve done and what you want them to do.

Before that it’s an abstraction, and therefore close to meaningless. Certainly not enough to move them out of the inertia to which we’re all subject.

The only way to move them along is to get them moving at all. The more barriers you create to that movement, the more barriers you create to their learning.

Let go. Change comes to those ready to make it. The timing’s not up to us. It’s up to them. We can create the environment. We can guide, we can lead. But we can’t mandate. Not really. What results from force is false change. It’s following orders without understanding why (beyond perceived consequences). It denies the chance for a change to belong to someone else.

You’ve pushed, they move. But they’re not moving on their own.

So maybe their way isn’t yours. Maybe it’s not how you would do it. Maybe it’s better. But if you don’t let them fail, you’rethe one who’ll never succeed.

Will you risk it? Or is that not your way?