Assume people don’t know why you’re doing what you’re doing

Netflix once published an inspiring employee culture guide about freedom and responsibility. 

There’s an entire chapter about setting the right context, rather than controlling people’s actions. According to their managers, high performance people will do better work if they understand the context and are turned loose to work within it. 

Here’s the best passage: 

When one of your talented employees does something dumb, don’t blame them. Instead, ask yourself what context you failed to set. 

Each of us can adapt this principle to our own workplaces and relationships. We can assume people don’t know why we’re doing what we’re doing. We can add a layer of attention at the top of our interactions. We can give the gift of conversational context. And we can be disarmingly clear with our intentions. 

How we do that is up to us. It could be as tactical as printing out an agenda for the meeting, as inspirational as telling story about what your vision is, or as simple as starting the conversation with, here’s why we’re here today. 

Whatever it takes to set context and give people a frame within which to do what they do. 


How are you declaring your high intentions to all of the living of earth?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg

That Guy with the Nametag

Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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Author. Speaker. Strategist. Songwriter. Filmmaker. Inventor. Gameshow Host. World Record Holder. I also wear a nametag 24-7. Even to bed.
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