Positive intent: Why you should be positive

Students who travel to London to study at a new university will quickly realize that London is not a place where you can assume positive intent. In fact, Negative intent is the default.
It is likely that other commuters will be competing for your last tube seat.
It is easy to assume that everyone will pick up your pockets.
Your council will likely make a significant portion of its income from traffic fines.
You believe that foxes will find your trash and spread it all over the streets.

Londoners are often affected by poor public transport, cuts to local authority spending, as well as the expectation of negotiating crowds to see street entertainers (Edinburgh is also affected).
Positive attitude is essential for project managers. People do not come into work to do a bad job. We all know that projects can go wrong. This happens when processes fail, communications fail or responsibilities are unclear. It’s not because people do stupid stuff to get you in trouble.
Positive intent is the belief that project team members truly care about doing a great job. People try to do the right thing within the constraints of their organization’s culture and process. They might not be the best at what they do but that is another matter.
Positive intent means treating people as adults and assuming positive intent for a project. If you are concerned that they won’t finish the tasks you gave, you don’t have to follow up. You want to be kept informed. Don’t assume that people will do everything possible. They need you to be there for them every step. Assume they will do their best.
Positive intent has helped me create mature project teams. What have you seen in your organization’s benefit from positive intent? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Positive intent: Why you should be positive
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