Standoff – Your Call


This is an urban legend  with a cautionary tale. It symbolizes what happens to us at work and our personal lives. There is this common belief that we must be assertive, laser focused and looking out for our own best interest. Unfortunately, even our most sophisticated demands, opinions and strengths are moot if we lack curiosity.

The story retells a radio communication between two teams. For simplicity, we’ll refer to one team as Americans and the other Canadians.

Americans:   Please divert your course 15 degrees North to avoid a collision.

Canadians:   Recommend you divert YOUR course 15 degrees South to avoid collision.

Americans:   This is the captain of a US navy ship; I say again divert your course.

Canadians:   No. I say again, you divert YOUR course.

Americans:   This is the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln, the second largest ship in the United States’ Atlantic fleet. We are accompanied by three destroyers, three cruisers and numerous support vessels. I demand that you change your course 15 degrees north, that’s one five degrees north, or counter-measures will be undertaken to ensure the safety of this ship.

Canadians:   We are a lighthouse; your call.

The best intentions create havoc and erode trust, transparency and collaboration if there is a failure to ask insightful questions. If you find yourself frequently in a standoff , it may  be time for a change. Standoffs are the result of blind spots.

Today’s Tip: Check for Standoff Blind Spots.

Here are three standoff points to consider.

  • Poor Interpersonal Relationship Blind Spot. Did you know the most common factor for derailed relationships is due to being too harshly critical, insensitive or demanding? Are you alienating co-workers, direct-reports, family and friends?
  • Rigidity Blind Spot.  Are you unable to accept feedback about behavioral traits you need to change or improve?  Do you have an inability / unwillingness to listen, learn and change?
  • Collaboration Blind Spot. Do you have an inability to work well with others? Being disrespectful, uncooperative, not sharing information, plans or credit are inviting more standoffs. 

Is it time to explore the added benefit of additional strategies and tools? Click here if you’d like more information on fewer blind spots and less standoffs. 3D Living, LLC  

Discover helpful resources. You don’t have to get derailed – professionally or personally.  We might be a lighthouse… it’s your call.