Some assembly required

We’ve all seen the small print. Below the photo of the beautiful set of garden furniture and the huge proclamation of the bargain price, you’ll see in tiny letters ‘some assembly required’. Your dreams of lying back in your deckchair on the patio mere minutes after delivery are replaced by the nightmare thought of wrestling with screwdrivers and spanners all weekend.

Wise parents now unpack and assembly their children’s Christmas gifts before wrapping to avoid a morning meltdown whilst they turn the house upside down to find wire cutters to free a Monster High doll, batteries to power SpiderMan or a screwdriver to assemble the swing set.

Presumably it’s a cost-saving exercise. Flatpack furniture is easier to ship than assembled furniture. A doll attached to the carton with ferociously-strong cable ties won’t get damaged in transit. Get the purchaser to buy four AA batteries rather than include them and you can make more profit.

I guess what ‘some assembly required’ actually means is ‘this product isn’t quite finished – there’s still some work to do’. I feel rather like that sometimes: perhaps I should wear a ‘some assembly required’ label – or ‘under construction’ or ‘work in progress’. Whilst I realise that about myself, do I recognise that others are just as likely to be not quite perfect yet either?

Whether it’s at home or at work, there are times when it’s appropriate and even necessary to be judgemental and there are moments when it isn’t. Let’s say someone comes to you for advice, encouragement or to bounce ideas off you: someone who still requires a little work, hasn’t got there just yet, someone who may need some outside help – your help – to complete their ‘assembly’. Will you set aside your agenda and your judgement just to listen?

Today’s pebble for you to consider: is there a situation in which you need to be less judgemental?

What do you think?

Turning over pebbles is the blog of Thinking Space Coaching. 

If you’d like to make progress in your work and life, why not email me to see how we could work together?

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2 Responses to Some assembly required

  1. John Bayer says:

    Giving and receiving right judgements is so necessary sometimes. It is so helpful to be grounded by a thoughtful and well-placed critique. Judgements are easier to hear when you know you’ve been listened to first.

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