Common Sense

Do you get peeved when an employee doesn’t seem to have common sense?!

Common sense – two deadly words for a manager to dwell on. (with all due respect to Thomas Paine!)

How come?

We all get irritated when someone doesn’t do something that is common sense.  For example, they don’t respond to an email, don’t say thank you, don’t tell you there is a problem.

Whatever you think is common sense is common sense – for you.

But that’s the problem!  Common sense is different for everyone.  Many of our communication failures are because we think something is common sense and someone doesn’t do it, and we get irritated/annoyed/stressed.

Common sense is based on assumptions and you know what happens when you assume (for a funny explanation of what happens when you assume, I refer you to, where you can see the legendary Tony Randall as Felix Unger explain it in a scene from The Odd Couple)

I’m not proposing to treat everyone as simpletons.  But when you’re having communication problems get back to the basics.  Where does the disconnect start?  Where do you need to go back and talk about something that might be seemingly obvious to you?

When we stop ourselves from getting irritated at things we view as common sense:

  • We are being solution oriented vs staying stuck in our indignation
  • We are willing to have a conversation about the situation
  • We can listen and question for solutions

After all, you have at times not done something that is common sense for someone else.  Wouldn’t you want them to come back to you and try and rectify the situation?

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