The humanizing factor

There are many, many reasons that I work with my business partner, Jeff. But these past two days, he’s reminded of one of the little things that make all the difference:

I am, let’s say, not the most tactful of people. Social interactions don’t come easy for me. It is studied, and practiced and almost always a conscious thing for me, in a way that I think most people can’t really grasp, and why I occasionally surprise people when I fail at whatever social skill I’m attempting – because, generally, I think I interact fairly well with the world. But I almost always miss the subtleties.

Yesterday, Jeff walked me through the likely responses of something I had done, which I thought would make someone happy. Of course, it turns out (obviously, once explained), that really, delaying my action would have been much better in the long run. Today, he did the same thing, but before I had a chance to screw up. Both times, the issue at hand was my inability to see how the perception of what I was doing could be vastly different than intent with which I was doing it.

I suppose it comes down to tactics in some way. Everything Jeff does is calculated towards a goal. He always has an end-game in mind, with everything he does. He has a plan, and probably several back-up plans. These plans seem to form almost instantaneously in his mind. Myself? I’m admittedly poor at long-term planning. And poor and estimating someone’s response. I’ll think about what I’m going to and determine what the reaction should be, with people being rational. I’ll even try and think of what a ‘reasonable’ irrational or emotional response should be. But, quite often, I missed something that means I end up being surprised by people’s reactions in the end.

As I try and move into politics, this is clearly something I’m going to have work very hard on improving upon. Fortunately, I’m surrounded by people whom I trust who can help me learn this.