Communication, Improvement, Leadership

On Being ‘Naive’

If you believe in fairies...
naive – nʌɪˈiːv,nɑːˈiːv/
adjective: naive
(of a person or action) showing a lack of experience, wisdom, or judgement.

I’ve been called naive a few times in my career, usually when I’m explaining that things don’t need to be as they are

You’re naive if you think you can do this without it running late

You’re naive saying that we don’t need to work overtime to deliver

You’re naive if you think we don’t have to crunch to get this done

You’re naive if you think it’ll be any better this time

You’re naive to believe we can persuade management to buy into this

You’re naive if you want people to actually engage with this

You’re naive to think this will actually make any difference

In all cases, it boils down to

We’re stuck doing it this way and I don’t see how we can make it any better

Or, to boil it some more

It sucks, we’re stuck, deal

In every case I’ve stuck to my guns and show that actually, with a bit of soul searching, hard work and (positive) conflict, you can move forward and that a positive, forward looking, attitude can improve the current situation no matter how dysfunctional it might be.

After years of working in your field, if you’re confident in what you’re doing, don’t be disparaged if you’re called naive. You do know what you’re doing, you do have the experience to improve your situation and you do have the judgement to know what can change and what doesn’t need to stay the same.

It’s just that often a positive attitude can clash with a fear of change, conditioned behaviour or a resignation that things never get better. All of which are understandable when things have been done a certain way for a long time.

You can change that.

Be ‘naive’.

Title image by JD Hancock. Used under licence.

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