Time-stressed, crazy busy Type A’s often unwittingly make troubling situations worse because they choose to give the other person the benefit of the doubt rather than finding the time to address the problem. And, while your gesture may also be coming from a place of kindness and compassion, if you are overlooking, rationalizing or excusing a situation that is troubling, you are asking to double the trouble. This is especially true when you are the boss dealing with direct reports whose performance is not living up to your expectations.
Don’t get me wrong here. Giving someone the benefit of the doubt can be a very good thing when used correctly. In its best form, giving someone the benefit of the doubt simply means that you keep an open mind and heart when addressing the troubling situation. You go into the conversation assuming the other person to have good intentions. You listen to understand.
Giving someone the benefit of the doubt means you are giving them the gift of your open mind.
Giving someone the benefit of the doubt does not mean that you delay dealing with the situation.
What conversations do you need to have?