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It’s all relative-a lesson from the beach

January 27, 2010

Filed under: Management — admin @ 11:49 am

Our neighbors in Hawaii are regulars at the local beach, so they know the water well. Recently, I joined them and remarked at how clear and calm the local bay looked. ‘Oh no,’ she said in horror, “the water is murky and look at the waves on the rocks over there.”

How could two people see the same scene and come up with such different conclusions. Easy, she lives on the island and has often seen the water crystal clear down to 10 feet and the surface looking like a large plate of glass. On the other hand, I just visit and often saw heavy surf churning up sand to leave the water cloudy even near the surface.

In life and management it’s not the observation that’s important but the frame of reference. Neither of us were wrong we were just applying different standards – a frequent problem when an employee and employer look at the same situation.

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