Do you hate the process, or the result?

In management and in parenting the goal is to praise the PROCESS not the results. There’s a lot of reasons for this:

  • You won’t be praising luck, and therefore won’t be encouraging relying on luck.
  • You won’t be praising busy-work, and therefore won’t be encouraging people to work really hard on dumb things.
  • You won’t be praising experience.
  • You won’t be praising reinventing the wheel.
  • You won’t be praising the hoarding of knowledge.

Instead you’ll be praising thought, insight and focus, which are things ALL of us can be better at.

I just overheard Rob say “I just hate the process.” in frustration. I have no idea what he was talking about but Kayleen replied, “No… I love the process. Strategic problem solving is great.”

Which was the PERFECT answer for a manager or a parent to say, and it got me thinking about when I’m frustrated.

Am I frustrated because of the PROCESS or because of the RESULT?

As I’m thinking back over my last few weeks I’m realizing that if I don’t like the result I might be momentarily bummed, but I get jazzed up to solve the problem. To look at it a different way. We’ve still collected data. We at least know what *doesn’t* work. Let’s keep going with that. What else doesn’t work? What else works?

But when there isn’t a clear process or methodology and the result sucks, that’s when I get really frustrated.

This is true if I’m the one working on something without a clear process or methodology or when someone who reports to me is.


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