Saturday, July 5, 2014

Why Did the Chicken Cross the Road?

Question: Why did the chicken cross the road? 

Answer: To get to the other side of the road, of course.

It’s an old joke that just about everyone had heard, told or modified in some way.

Just recently I was standing on the porch, talking with my sister when suddenly I saw a chicken crossing the road; really, no kidding. It was a real live chicken crossing the road in a small town in Kentucky, but it was a chicken nonetheless.

My sister said I made the oddest facial expression, and then calmly asked her if indeed it was a chicken crossing the road.

I’m sure you can imagine the hilarity that followed, when everyone in the house was brought out to: #1) hear the story, #2) see the chicken, and 3) to send the tweens down the street to take a photo of him. We are so easily amused…

Although this is funny, and I truly enjoy laughing at myself and with others, the experience also allowed me to consider why I make the decisions I do, both personally and in business.

We all know that good decisions are based on accurate information, and used as strategic stepping stones toward the completion of a goal.

Like the question about the chicken, what about the goals? Why did I (or you) choose those particular goals, or set the bar so high (or low)?

Generally, goals are set to achieve a specific end, often in conjunction with one or more others as well. I think the goals we set for ourselves are formed by our personal experiences and perspectives.

Each of us has a slightly different perspective on life, even if we grew up in the same house and shared the same experiences. However, often times those different perspectives between individuals give rise to differing ultimate goals, automatic responses in similar situations, and sometimes drive a wedge of misunderstanding between parties.

This is life. As human beings, it is inevitable that we will disagree with someone on a daily basis; some minor and others as big as an immovable boulder.

In business, you may have personality conflicts with a co-worker, peer, partner, or that very annoying customer that everyone passes off to someone else.

This doesn't mean that you are an awful person. You just have to try a little bit harder to work cohesively with your team and those around you.

Then, like the chicken, you have to decide if you want to stay on that side of the road or walk across it seeking another opportunity.

If you want to stay, then seek a mentor to help you with workplace challenges such as personality conflicts.

If you want to move on, then do so, thereby ensuring that you benefit from a new opportunity to build on your success somewhere else, and the company you leave has an opportunity to hire someone who can better help them fulfill their mission or reach their strategic goals.

So, tell me. Why did your chicken cross the road, and where was it going?

Editor’s Note: This post also appears on LinkedIn.

Before founding her own consulting firm, Dawn Gannon served as a respected project management and administrative operations professional in the military, higher education, and healthcare fields for 25 years. As a Lean/Six Sigma Green Belt, Dawn’s commitment and personal mission to improve the lives of others through service to the community focuses on providing administrative and volunteer management, consumer education, public outreach, event planning, relationship-building efforts, and strategic planning. She is a contributor on LinkedIn, the author of the Management in Motion blog, and has written a number of articles for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association on the topic of childfree living.