Black-and-white is black, and it’s white. No grey. No in-between.
When we deal with people we need to remember that we’re dealing with people — no perfection, very little consistency across personalities, and very tough to predict. Grey.
Reading a status report from a direct-report VP that came from their Sr. Manager that came from their Manager about one of their hard workers is never the full story. Seeing in an MS Word document that someone thinks they have COVID never means that we have permission to: 1) read between the lines; 2) assume they’re laying out of work for sloppy reasons; and 3) judge them on any level.
*begin story* I recently ran into one of our team members that was out for 10 days because they thought they had COVID. Sounds like we should be leery, right? During that conversation I found out that they have serious kidney issues and goes through preventative chemotherapy treatments once per quarter. To this person, the “thought they had COVID” was irrelevant because, based on symptoms, they had to assume they had COVID. It was all-hands-on-deck in their household. *end story*
See? Grey. 100%.
Headlines never tell the story. The difference is in the details and the conversation.