Sunday, October 05, 2008

Motives & Judgements

"Feel free to question my judgments but not my motives." - Joe Biden, democratic party's vice presidential nominee said something like that in the recent debate. He was referring how he would approach bipartisanship. He was saying that regardless of party affiliation everyone who comes to US Congress comes with the same motive - doing something good for the people and country. You should never attack or question their motives. Judgments, of course, are a fair game.

It indeed left a lasting impression. How nice it would be if we make a similar statement while putting together a team? If we let every team member know that we would never ever question anyone's motives but judgments are up for debate. This will be  very reassuring. The very fact that you are part of the team means your motives are good and for the betterment of the team. Judgments are a different matter altogether. Motive to judgment is a long drawn process with many steps. With so many steps and details, it is possible that our judgments may end up being not the very best despite our motives being the most righteous and best.

Such approach goes a long way in making team members feel comfortable with each other. It also gives everyone in the team to stop someone who may start questioning the motives of another team member when he should be focusing on judgments. It hurts when someone questions and attacks our motives.

Of course, occasionally, you will end up with some people who do not share the motives you would like them to share. There is nothing much you can do about such people than getting rid of them as early as possible with least pain to everyone involved. That's why authors of 'Good to great' say - "First get right people on the bus. Get wrong people off the bus. Then put people in right seats. Then you can decide where to go." Only the people who share motives should be on the bus.

I never thought political debates also can contain wise statements. This one was a good one.


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