In the Western culture there’s very little that’s automatic about the commitment to be for each other. While we may lean towards wanting to support other people’s succes, that’s not the same as doing it. We support each other, as long as it’s comfortable to do so. But when things get difficult we tend to go back to self preservation.
And thus we create silo’s and distance between people. No need to say that trust, teamwork, innovation and collaboration suffer.
In another example consider the practice of looking for positive intent; another example of being for each other.
Our normal response when we feel wronged by someone is to assume that the other person has negative intentions.
This tendency is so strong that psychologists call this behavior the Fundamental Attribution Error — the error of assuming that people do contrary things because of their character flaws or because they enjoy doing them. We ignore any other potential and motivational forces.
When the chairman and CEO of PEPSICO, Indra Nooyi, was asked what the most important leadership advice she had given was, she said “Whatever anybody says or does, assume positive intent first.”
When you don’t understand why someone has done something, get curious and explore with the person what her intent was.
Stay curious and be ready to be surprised.