Merge's Blog

Are you judging or encouraging?

So last month I took a short holiday in Hawaii and as we drove back to our hotel one evening I couldn’t help but notice the vehicle in front of me.  Two travellers had turned a regular pick-up truck into their own unique convertible.  By unfolding two everyday collapsible deck chairs in the bed of the pickup, they now had two seats on the back of an open-air vehicle … almost (but not quite) like driving in a sports car with the top down!

I’ll be honest … my first reaction was “Yikes, redneck!”  But a few moments later, I moved to “Hmm, rather resourceful!”  But it got me thinking about how people instinctively react to things that unusual or are outside the norm.  Often, my first reaction (as I think it is for many others) is to immediately make a judgment about the situation or person (sort of like I did with the home-made convertible :)).  But once you look more closely, perhaps the different and unusual represents ingenuity, imagination and originality.  Perhaps, as leaders, instead of judging we should be encouraging our people to be inventive and innovative in the workplace.

As always, I want to know what you think?  Redneck or resourceful?  Safety hazard or inspired?  And what are you more likely to do – judge or encourage?

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