Did you know that the recommended tire pressure for your vehicle is located on the inside of the door frame? After all these years, no one had ever told me that. I used what was listed on the tires.
Today I had the air pressure checked at Discount Tire. The technician politely told me that the air pressure on the front tires was too high. He then commented on how “these oil changing places will often set the air pressure too high”, followed by a simple question:
Have you had the oil changed recently?
In reality, I am the fool that put too much air in the front tires. Do I fess up? Or do I blame it on the oil changing companies, even though that’s not entirely accurate? I chose option three – I simply said “no”. With a deliberately confused look on my face. After all, I’m just answering his question honestly.
What’s behind that? I didn’t want to be embarrassed.
No, wait. Let’s go deeper. I value the approval of others and want them to think that I know what I am doing — that I have it together. If you dug even deeper, you would discover how this thought process stems back to my youth, when due to circumstances I felt like I had to lead my siblings.
The desire for approval runs strong and when that becomes my thought process:
- It prevents vulnerability and transparency
- It inhibits learning
- It covers up problems
- It restricts innovation
- It increases resistance to change
Think about your team and share your experiences. How have you seen the desire for approval manifest itself? What impact is that having right now? How have you seen this desire in yourself? And what impact is that having on your organization?