In the past I have worked with many people who managed to do things that I found baffling, yet to them passed the ‘common sense’ test. The finance manager who decide to send out a 2 line e-mail telling everyone that the tea ladies would be replaced by machines was a particular highlight. But more recently, managers often complain that employees seem to lack ‘common sense’ without any appreciation that their landscape and experience is very different. Common sense tells the sales manager that keeping the customer happy with personal adaptations has to be the priority to maintain revenue, while the operations manager decides that the ‘personal adaptations’ are costly and will set a dangerous precedent that will cause a spiraling cost base. Both can back their argument with facts and numbers yet have an emotional set of priorities that can never be reconciled. It would certainly be an interesting organization strategy to ask all new recruits to just use ‘their common sense’!
Where do you assume that others have common sense that may not be justified?
What do you need to understand about how others judge ‘common sense’ decisions?
How can you build a common perspective on ‘common sense’?