Being Objective

Managers and supervisors can have strongly developed egos and can therefore find it difficult to be objective in their problem solving and decision making. Here are five things you can do to help you be more objective.

1. Recognise your emotional state.
Strong emotions cloud our judgment and cause us to react rather than respond to situations. Often when faced with information we don’t want to hear we become defensive. Make a conscious effort to recognise when you are becoming defensive and take a mental step back.

2. Use the three sentence method.
Using just three sentences, explain your argument or reasons to yourself. Do they sound reasonable? It can help to explain to an impartial third party and get their take on how reasonable your three sentence explanation is.

3. What is the common denominator?
We all like to be right at least some of the time. But if you find that you are constantly disagreeing with everyone around you then the common denominator is you not them!

4. Step into their shoes.
When we think we have a strong case it is easy to selectively block out opposing views and focus on gathering facts and information that back up our own ideas. As part of gathering objective information always seek opposing views to your own. Put yourself in the shoes of someone else and try to see things as they would. You may still be right in your conclusions, but it will do no harm to check out your assumptions.

5. When you are wrong…
Finally, no one can be right 100% of the time. So when you are wrong swallow your pride, change direction and move on. If you have made a mistake, apologise and correct it. You will gain more respect from your team and your colleagues by showing some humility in your problem solving and decision making.