The edge

A 3-step way to establish a new, healthy professional relationship.

Start with “here’s what we are dealing with”. Be thorough and fully honest. Unearth everything and establish authority by showing that you are not afraid to face facts.

Continue with “here’s what we are going to do about it”. Think in incremental steps rather than big reveals. Be detailed, put everything on a calendar, and use some system to assign responsibility.

Finish with “here’s what can go wrong”. No idea, plan, or project is flawless. And you know that many things can and will go wrong. Just put them out there, be on top of it.

The right thing is rarely easy

Many things that matter are not easy. Even in the day-to-day.

Making time to help someone is not easy.

Speaking up when you witness racist or sexist behaviour is not easy.

Choosing not to scream every time your kids get on your nerves is not easy.

Sitting down with somebody to express your discomfort is not easy.

The point is that if you always seek the easy, if you try to find shortcuts in most situations, if your first thought is about how you can save some time, some money, some energy, it’s very likely you will often end up doing the wrong thing.

Nobody likes the version of themselves that does the wrong thing more often than the right one.

Overcompensating

It’s tempting to set up a general rule to avoid a nuisance that is due to a few negative experiences. The problem is that the rule does not consider the vast majority of experiences that are positive, and therefore it ends up fixing an issue that, in most cases, is not an issue.

That’s the case of the employer setting up very rigid working hours because two people (out of tens or hundreds of employees) usually start working after lunch. What happens the next an employee is 10 minutes late? What if it’s their first time?

Overcompensating is rarely a good idea.