REALLY? – Consequence Thinking Tip #264

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In these difficult / challenging / unprecedented / add your favorite descriptor here / times…

Can we actually count the number of times we’ve heard this phrase uttered over the last couple of years?  What started as a way to empathize with an audience has now become a signal for WARNING:  PANDEMIC TALK AHEAD or worse, the beginning of a joke on late-night television.

While we may have become desensitized to the language, we still need to consider how we respond and interact to this ever-evolving world around us.  This requires us to think.  While this may seem elementary (and a tad bit silly), consider the Houston-area mom who told an employee at a COVID-19 testing site that her son was in the trunk because she didn’t want to get sick.

Wow!  Just wow.

Let’s break down the supposed thought process:

1. My son requires testing
2. I need to take my thirteen-year-old son to a testing site
3. I don’t want to run the risk of getting sick from potential exposure

So far so good, but here’s where things go off the rails

4. So reduce my risk of potential exposure, I’ll put my son in the trunk.

Amazing.  How could this be a bad idea?

Chances are, your mind is racing with all the questions:  “Um…safety restraints?”  “What if there was an accident on the way to the testing site?” “Are there child endangerment issues at play here?”  These questions (and many others) are great to ask and are examples of consequence thinking.  It’s how we think about near, medium or long-term ramifications of our actions or decisions.  In some situations, this type of thinking is natural and nearly automatic.  However, in other situations, maybe not so much.  While there may seemingly be easy and straightforward answers to most challenges, how can we think more deeply beyond the initial solution to its potential impacts?

To explore how to incorporate this thinking with the challenges faced at work, check out Situation Expert and imagine the errors we avoid when we think a little bit more.

References, 2022, Houston-area mom put son in trunk because he had COVID-19, court documents say

Jonathan Workman

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

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