It’s Easy To Say No

Through the years I have noticed a trait in most people that may just be human nature. The more I pay attention to the interaction of people the more I notice it.  And if I’m honest I have to admit at times I’m just as guilty as anyone else.

People are always looking for a reason (excuse) not to do something.

I’ve noticed this with companies, with coworkers, and in everyday life.

Product that is fully ready to ship to the customer doesn’t.  Why? Well because Form XYZ wasn’t filled out properly.   The third party of the first party to the second party wasn’t properly notified in the proper sequence with the proper verbiage.  An “i” wasn’t dotted or a “t” wasn’t crossed.

Technically it wasn’t correct but there was no reason that should have stopped the product from going out the door other than the person responsible just didn’t want to do it.

Throughout my career I have seen this same desire not to do things.

Quality inspectors who inspect to reject.  A minor non-conformance that doesn’t affect the form, fit or function of a product halts the entire process.  A two minute consultation with the manager would fix the issue and keep the process flowing but the inspector sees it as an opportunity to not complete the process and do something else.

I’m not advocating accepting a nonconformance, I’m just saying explore all possible remedies to the problems before you just quit and pass it on to someone else to resolve.

I’ve seen this mentality across all departments in companies.

I’ve listen to conversations where a manager is presenting alternate resolutions to problems as the employee rejects each one out of hand with a quick excuse as to why it can’t be done.  Yet this same employee constantly gripes about the problems that don’t get resolved.

I have heard a manager ask an employee about their progress in solving a customer created problem and listened as the employee gave a step by step explanation as to why they couldn’t get it done.  It was like, “ I couldn’t get that done because this didn’t allow me to do that and because I couldn’t do that well then I couldn’t do this…” and on and on they went.

The employee quickly descended into this purgatory of excuses.  I was watching them descend through Dante’s Nine Circles of Hell as each excuse pulled them down to the next one.

Never once in the conversation did I hear how they were able to overcome the obstacle and get the job done.

What we have to learn, in all aspects of life, is not to have our first instinct or reaction be, “It can’t be done” or “I can’t do it”.

We have to develop the habit of reacting to problems or issues by asking the question, “How can I get this done?”

We have to say to ourselves or others, “I understand what needs to be done, here are some of the road blocks (real or imagined), so what can we do to overcome them and make this happen.”

I guess it’s just easier to say “no” and not have to deal with it anymore.

© Otis P Smith and About the Groove, 2016. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Otis P Smith and About the Groove with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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