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Tame the Primitive Brain: 28 Ways in 28 Days to Manage the Most Impulsive Behaviors at Work by Mark Bowden

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Day 22

Suspend Judgment

Put It to One Side

I used to think anyone doing anything weird was weird. Now I know that it is the people that call others weird that are weird.

—Paul McCartney

Today you’ll tame:

  • Your old viewpoint
When the new associate joined the company he was immediately asked to put a bid in on a new project that could fall right into the company’s sweet spot—$200K. But when he looked at the specs from the client, he assessed its value at 10 times that amount.
His boss’s instinctive response to being told that was cut and dried: “You’re crazy. We’ll never get it; we don’t do jobs that big. Scale it back to the minimum or we’ll lose the job.”
The new associate, who had come from a firm that was familiar with working on projects “this big,” tried to make it clear to his new boss that he understood it was out of the company’s usual scope, but that he was quite comfortable working on projects of this magnitude. He added that he had the experience, albeit at a junior level.
The boss was calmed by his new hire’s assurances, and so suspended his judgment about the company’s ability to win this project. He assigned the associate to submit the higher bid on the contract.
The company won the job.
As you well understand by now, we pass judgment on everyone and everything, whether we mean to or not. And we base every assessment we make about someone else’s behavior (why they do what they do) on a theory we have; that is, we can’t make a judgment without some criteria or a ...

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