A friend recently had an appointment with a doctor. The doctor started to prescribe medicine to treat the symptoms of a gut issue.
So the patient advocated for herself. She reminded the doctor that she has additional medical issues that are bigger than the gut issue. She has osteoporosis and needs a stronger skeletal system and this medicine will make her bones weaker.
The doctor heard her concern and thoughtfully responded, “Well, I guess you need to look at the whole picture.”
At work and in our world is easy to focus on one piece of the puzzle:
- What is happening right now
- The goals that are not being met
- How we are being impacted
- The things we fear
- The causes we care about
The piece versus the whole:
Firing that long-term formerly high-performing employee. But not evaluating what has changed or what could be done about it.
Setting individual performance goals for employees that conflict with company objectives. But not evaluating why either the people or the company continually miss the mark.
Asking industry leaders to attend an advisory meeting so your school can continue to be accredited. But telling them what you do, instead of asking for them what they need you to be teaching.
Spending millions of dollars to create a new program for your company without promoting the benefits of this new program to your sales team or your customers. But when sales goals aren’t achieved, that program is thrown out the window instead of leveraging it as the competitive edge that it is.
Arguing about if it is ok to kneel during the national anthem or not. …But not talking about how we work together to continue to close the gap between our country’s vision and our reality.
Debating compassion for future refugees versus national security as if they are the only pieces in the puzzle. But not investing that same level of energy to examine how current immigrants receive support and direction. Resulting in missed opportunities to collaborate and accomplish both goals while helping people fall in love with their new home.
Do you make decisions based on one or two pieces of a puzzle? Or do you intentionally step back and examine the whole picture first?