Life is full of paradoxes that some say require balancing; however accepting an appropriate location on the paradox continuum, when dealing with the paradox conundrum, may be as good as it gets! An example of such a paradox follows:
- Perception often equals Reality
- Reality often not equal to Perception
Never Judge a Book by its Cover was a lesson that my parents always preached to me and my siblings. This seemed and still seems a reasonable and fair lesson for life and work; however as we all know life and work are never always reasonable and fair. Often we judge and are judged by perception and somehow this gets translated to reality. How many times have we heard ourselves or other people say, “But that’s not what I meant or that’s not what I intended.” Unfortunately at this point feelings may be hurt, egos may be bruised, and relationships may be damaged. Additionally, to recover from the damage done, if that is possible, it will take a lot more time and effort than what went into the initial encounter.
The key lessons here in life and work are: always be aware that people will judge you by your actions rather than your intentions i.e. people cannot read your mind, and as such be careful in how you act with people to avoid misunderstanding; and always be sensitive to other people (their personalities, values, behaviors) and give them the benefit of the doubt that their actions may not completely mirror their intentions. Of course this does not mean that we should operate with a “walking on eggshells” mentality, but rather we need to find a reasonable balance on this particular paradox conundrum.
- Be Careful How you Act and Don’t Jump to Conclusions