Let's imagine a Chair


Let's imagine a chair. What color is it? Because the one I'm imagining is white, wooden and retro-futuristic in style, with no armrests. Is it the same chair you imagined? The math says no. And this is very important to understand. In the work environment, when we are coordinating efforts to achieve as one team the goals we have set for ourselves, we tend to take many things for granted. We think they are obvious and that everyone understands them in the same way we do.

When we think of a chair, the possibilities are endless: the material, the color, the design, the style, the height, the accessories, the finishes, the features that will make it unique, the ease of mass production, and so on. Even if we agree that it should have metal legs, we don't know the width, shape, length, color, type of polish or thickness they will have. In teams and in life in general, it is not good to assume that people have the same concepts that I have. What do I expect from people when I say that I want us to be punctual in meetings? What do I mean when I am asking for attention and concentration? What do I mean when I say that the well-being of my team is important?

It may seem like a simple and irrelevant issue, but let's think again about the chair. Is what you think more of a chair than the chair in my mind? Do these differences of concept make our working, personal or emotional relationship unsustainable? Can we reach consensus on these differences and continue to collaborate? Most of the differences that occur in human relationships are the result of miscommunication, misunderstanding of concepts and misunderstandings about things we take for granted. Maybe, next time, you can invite your work team to sit down and talk deeply and openly about this topic. In which chairs do you think they will imagine themselves sitting down?


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