When I was a management consultant, we had a very complex project that was rife with political pitfalls. Some of the best management advice I’ve ever had came from my director Robert, who would ask repeatedly, “What are the facts?” It really helped me to distill the key, important information needed to make a decision and move forward. When I think of someone who is objective, I think of someone who is level-headed and not unduly influenced by personal feelings when making a decision. They are able to put aside personal opinion when evaluating facts. Robert is my role model for this to this day.

How objective are you?

As an aside, it is interesting that last week we talked about the importance of being passionate, as being objective means not being swayed by passion. Are we talking out of both sides of our mouth? Well, no — this is not an “either/or” option — it is “both/and.” The key is to have a balance of these traits so that you can draw on the most appropriate given the context of the situation you’re in.

This week’s Challenge: This week, I will take note of when my emotions are carrying me away, and then I will ask, “what are the facts?” before I move forward.

Avoiding being Scrutinizing (overuse): Being objective has a dispassionate approach, but when it is overdone, it starts to take the critical tone of being scrutinizing. If you find yourself stuck in reviewing the facts, in examining minute details, then it’s time to take a step back. Look at the big picture and the patterns you see in the facts, not trying to understand every nuance.

Commendable Trait: Objective
Underused: Subjective
Overused: Scrutinizing
Strength: Perspective
Quadrant: Wisdom