September 2013

Site Your Source

September 29, 2013

Perhaps top on my organizational pet peeve list is the use of anecdotal generalizations to influence or make decisions. It is simply a bad habit that too many people or employees use, knowingly or not. What am I talking about?

Site Your Source

Listen for examples using these key phrases –

  • “Our employees think”
  • “All of our dealers said”
  • “Management says”
  • “Our customers are all asking for it”

It is never this simple. Rarely do folks grab a proper sample of any of these groups before jumping into directional hyperbole. Too often people are speaking for their own interests and using the big vague group as a triangulation point. There are always missing puzzle pieces, and the pieces are unique. I advise you to be specific about how many and/or specifically who whenever possible if you are making a point or a case. How difficult is it to say something like “I spoke with two of our customers, Acme and Super Supply, and they were both consistent in saying…”

Break the Habit. Siting your source enhances your personal creditability, ensures proper context, and improves decision-making. Generalizations are dangerous.