Perceptions and Expectations

Ask how people expect things to happen. What do they believe is important? What do they think should be important, versus what they perceive the company feels is important?

In resolving a union/management dispute in a plant in jeopardy of being closed, we found it was necessary to deal first with the conviction in union ranks that management was a revolving door occupied by short-timers who did not care about the plant or the community. This was matched by management's equally strong belief that the employees and unions did not care about the products, the competition, or the plant's profitability. Both beliefs were untrue, yet both parties were so sure of their perceptions that they never discussed them with the other party. These strongly held beliefs (perceptions) were at the core of their inability to work together.

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