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Don’t confuse neglect for malice

  • By Alan Knott-Craig
  • May 4, 2017

Hanlon’s Razor: “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by neglect.”

In business there will be times where people cancel meetings, or don’t return your calls, or say things flippantly, or do one of a thousand things that can make you feel dissed.

Your instinct is to assume the action was intentional, and the counter-party is out to get you. From there things go pear-shaped quickly.

Hanlon’s Razor is a reminder that most slights are not intentional. There is no malice. People are just busy. They have their own problems.

Applying Hanlon’s Razor in our day-to-day lives, allows you to develop better relationships, become less judgmental, and improve rationality.

It allows you to give people the benefit of the doubt and have more empathy.

To assume intent is the worst mistake you can make.

The more we dislike an institution or person, the more likely we are to attribute their behavior to malice.

Don’t do it.

The next time someone bumps your meeting or doesn’t return your WhatsApp, don’t stress. It’s not on purpose.

No one is out to get you.