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Has anyone done something that appeared to be done intentionally to impede your progress? In some cases that is exactly what they are doing. It might be because they are insecure, envious or worse. In other cases, it could be due to a lack of information.

Stephen Covey shared a story about ego and assumptions in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Two battleships assigned to the training squadron had been at sea on maneuvers in bad weather for days. The visibility was poor, so the captain on the ranking ship remained on deck keeping an eye on conditions, A lookout reported light bearing down on the starboard bow. The captain asked if it was steady or moving astern. It was moving steady which put the ship on a collision course. The captain asked the lookout to signal that the other vessel change course 20 degrees. Back came a signal, advise you change course 20 degrees. The captain said signal, I am a captain, advise you change course 20 degrees. The response, I am a seaman, advise you change course 20 degrees. The captain exhorted I am a battleship. Why should I change course? The response came back, I am a lighthouse. The captain changed course 20 degrees.

The captain thought it was the other battleship. With more information and humility, the captain went from combative to curious and made the best decision. The captain and seaman appeared to be adversaries; with more information they became collaborators. The moral of the story: choose curiosity over toxic confrontation.