Don’t assume malice

“Never assume malice when incompetence is more likely.” – a saying from my mother

So often when something goes wrong, people jump to assumptions of malice. “My coworker didn’t help me because he/she wants me to fail.” “My coworker said that remark to undermine me and take my job.” etc…

There are few people in this world with that level of malice. Most people would instead have some sort of shortcoming – be it they didn’t do a good job, they forgot, they were lazy, they failed to communicate that they got pulled onto another task, etc etc.

There’s a million and one reasons for some sort of interpersonal conflict. The vast majority of the reasons don’t have to do with malice – instead the individual’s flawed humanity and imperfect work is the more likely culprit.

Don’t assume malice – don’t create conflict where there doesn’t need to be.