The Facts and Only The Facts

Lady Justice in Frankfurt am MainWhen managing project team members, the objective project manager focuses on the behaviours of his team. Attitudes, state of mind, and motives are explanations we give for behaviours and we make many mistakes interpreting people’s actions. Telling someone they are lazy, that they are acting angrily, or, that they are selfish, are interpretations of behaviour. Attributing intent to actions makes the observation subjective, probably inaccurate, and more likely to be disputed.

Behaviours are observable. Behaviours are what we say, how we say them, our facial expressions, our body language and the results of our work. Observing that someone was late on three out of four tasks, that they raised their voice when answering a question, or that they asked for help in their task but declined to help another colleague with theirs, are behaviours. Talking about the actions you see or hear makes the observation objective.

Fundamental attribution error — (