Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Observation, Conversation, Delegation.

Warning: Adult Language In This Post.

The people I know and deal with regularly, are split into two groups.  
1) Those I can discuss a difference of opinion with.
2) Those I can't discuss a difference of opinion with.

I have friends that after a few beers we go into the deepest darkest depths of the two subjects you should never talk about in a pub (Politics or Religion), and although passions run high, we all respect each other's viewpoint even if nobody can sway anyone to their point of view.  

At the other end of the spectrum are people who flatly refuse to hear anyone else's argument, and insists that they are right… end of.  One such person I know has a viewpoint of management that represents one of these chronic "differences in opinion". 

If something is going wrong, he insists on quoting the phrase that "Shit rolls downhill", and delegates the problem down the line to make it someone else's problem to deal with.  He also preaches that other people do the same.

Personally, I see this as a cop-out where management skills and responsibility is concerned…. in my mind the analogy is wholly wrong.  To me, "Shit floats" is more apt.  If something is going wrong on your shift and it's gotten to my desk, trying to deal with it responsibly and stop it from floating further up the chain of management is the better thing to do.  If it's outside of my control, it will escalate anyway until it's on someone higher's desk and they will have to deal with it and me.  

Whilst this is an isolated example that I've illustrated, it is a good example as it embodies the type of person that I usually find troublesome.  For the sake of not rocking the boat, I've given up arguing that this is wrong, but it doesn't change my viewpoint.   On the other side of the fence, there only ever was one viewpoint.  

Being able to sway people with your opinions is a powerful thing. But, also being aware that other people have opinions that see as axioms is more powerful. Whilst they live in a myopic world and miss opportunities to better themselves and those around them, you need to use your power of observation to dodge these arguments when you notice them and spend your efforts on more positive things in life.