On occasion as professionals we observe what seems to be irrational behavior, something that seems to defy logic.
After years of seeing this “irrational” behavior in managers, co-workers and consultants I realized it is usually not irrational, just hard to comprehend.
Most decisions people make involve a complex array of factors, many of which are hidden from us, but clear to our co-worker, manager or customer.
Three categories are particularly important to comprehend what’s going on:
1.- Personal goals.
Decisions sometimes align with personal goals, not company goals. It may not be rational to you, but is rational to the decision maker. One example I saw once was how a Cloud Provider was selected based on the resume impact on the customer.
2.- Gut based Logic.
This is sometimes called “Emotional Intelligence” or Feeling based intelligence. You may call it what you want, but it’s a decision based on intuition, previous experience, and yes feelings!
That is why seldom a consulting sale is made to someone the customer does not like. Gut based decisions are often correct, do not under-estimate them.
3.- Fear or Lack of Knowledge
Unfortunately on occasion our co-worker, customer or even manager may have reasons to fear change, or simply not really know the benefits of an action that may seem very logical to us, but not to them.
It is our role in these situations to be understanding, and help them overcome the fear. We must build trust, and show that we are trustworthy, and that we truly care about the person we have in front of us.
A Deeper Lesson
Billy Graham once said “Confidentiality is the essence of being trusted.” That is a deep truth. Do you want to influence people, do you want to truly contribute to their companies or personal wellbeing? Earn their trust: BECOME TRUSTWORTHY.
Only then they will confide with you their personal goals, share their gut logic, or disclose their fears or lack of knowledge. When they do, be grateful, keep secrets, and share your advice. Not only will they listen to you, but one day as you gain their trust you will become a friend, and that has immense value.