Is “JOE” Making the Decisions Which Will Produce the Best Results?

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Bill Bennett

Have you met “JOE”? We each have a “JOE” within us – actually, many “JOEs”. Our view of “the way things are” is our truth. It is our paradigm, our framework for viewing the world, and it shapes our actions. Within our paradigm are Judgments, Opinions and Evaluations, or “JOEs.” We form judgments about our boss, our team, our customers – about EVERYTHING. Our task is to identify our JOEs and their sometimes hidden role in our decision-making, and the key is to manage them.

Which JOEs are producing the results you intend? Keep them. Which ones are producing undesired or unwanted outcomes?

My boss is a jerk.

My wife talks too much.

I am no good at making presentations.

These are examples of JOEs which are likely to undermine the desired results: An effective working environment, a solid, mutually respectful marriage, a powerful presentation.

Perhaps as you read this you are thinking, (or should I say “judging” or “evaluating”?) “But you don’t know my boss (or colleague or customer); he/she really IS a jerk!” Perhaps. But that is not the point.

Your goal is to be effective and produce results, ideally, outstanding results. This requires first identifying, then acknowledging, and finally managing your JOEs.

Are you somehow “JOE-free”? Are you completely free of Judgments, Opinions and ­Evaluations? It is simply human nature to have and use our JOEs to navigate our way through life. It is not a bad attribute. Without the ability to determine what is fair vs. unfair, good vs. bad, right vs. wrong, safe vs. unsafe, life would be difficult, if not impossible. So, then, JOES are good? Mostly, yes. The key is to be aware of ALL your JOEs and to determine which of them are producing the results you truly want.

There is something seductive about believing OUR JOEs to be true. We love to be right. We have evidence to support our JOEs. I would suggest that we go through life seeking evidence to support our JOEs. Not a bad thing. Simply a human thing.

Think of the power that some of your JOEs have in shaping your life in a positive, desirable way. Which is a better paradigm for a man who values an effective and productive work environment – “My boss is a jerk,” or “My boss has high expectations and is anxious that our team succeeds”? Both JOEs are invented by you. Which has the power to undermine what you say you want (being effective at work)? Note: Listen to that internal voice lobbying “But, he IS a jerk!!”

Tip: Choose the result you want and manage your JOEs accordingly.

Bill Bennett is Chief Operations Officer of The McNeill Group. He resides in Berkeley Heights, NJ.

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