I’m fortunate to have a great director who provides regular coaching as part of our weekly status meetings. After our last meeting, one of his comments kept playing in my head over and over again: “We will not make three right turns in order to go left.”
He said this after I showed him the stack of documentation I was generating as part of a project plan to standardize a critical business process. I explained that I was not trying to be overly accommodating with the departments but was simply performing my due diligence in order to understand their current situation and motivations.
He wasn’t buying it.
I was not intentionally trying to deceive my director. What I was experiencing was a subtle form of self-deception being brought to light. See, I actually believed that my motivation was to be thorough, but in actuality the deeper motivation was to avoid conflict.
In trying to avoid conflict, I was leaving myself open to persuasion that would likely lead to deviations from the ultimate objective which is process standardization. By the end of our conversation, I understood.
We will not make three right turns in order to go left.