Why aren’t THEY doing something about this?

1 minute read

We regularly hear from leaders who feel frustrated that managers, peers, or direct reports aren’t taking action (or a “sufficient” level of action) on something that seems “obvious” to that leader. Sometimes this comes with judgment when people think or even say, “they’re knuckleheads” or “they’re lazy”. We often absolve ourselves of the responsibility to do or say anything because we see it as so obvious.

Here’s where that approach comes up short:

  1. You aren’t doing anything besides judging (not helpful)
  2. You aren’t working to understand what they see, and how they are approaching the situation
  3. You aren’t equipping that person with what YOU see, and how YOU are thinking about this

The next time you are having a “WTF moment” when reviewing what someone else is doing (that matters to you and them), and your first thought is to do nothing, challenge yourself to ask questions. That person probably isn’t a knucklehead, and has what they see as a really good reason to do something.

Moreover, your ideas and understanding may be lacking in this situation.