Do you assume good intent?

I was extremely impressed working with the Google Australia & New Zealand leadership team in Sydney this week, as the have a clear contract together for team norms or tenets for which they hold themselves accountable.

One of those tenets is to assume good intent from anyone in the team and not to take things personally or take offence. This is extremely efficient and helps to avoid soured relationships.

So many problems in life are caused when we take offence when it is rarely given or meant! Why do we take things so personally when it’s just business?

Chris Burke (Ex-Vodafone CTO), who is a very good friend and ex client of mine taught me this ‘golden rule’ very early in my career: “Don’t take it personally and lighten up”! He literally asked me to breath before responding and to summarise calmly and ask questions.

If you assume bad intent and react to that pinching feeling you instantly lose power and gravitas.

As Thomas Jefferson said: “nothing gives someone so much advantage over another as to remain cool and unruffled under all circumstance”. Do you have any tactics or tricks to avoid taking offence at work or to avoid responding to people over emotionally?

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