Broadening Your Perspective with Logic-Bubbles


You can probably think of several other possibilities. Of course, the IT team had no way of knowing which of these, if any, might be the right one. But by reflecting on these possibilities, they were able to accept his dreadful behavior as making sense within his own logic-bubble. Given these possibilities, they tried some different ways of working with him—a little more empathy, more detailed status updates, more frequent check-ins with him. He never let up on them, but he did calm down a little.

Thankfully, the team delivered the project on time (a bit early, actually) and within budget. Although they collectively held their breath for the first few months after it went live, it worked beautifully.

Several months later I talked to someone who knew the back story. It seems that in his previous company, Mr. Mean-and-Nasty’s IT department developed a system for his division. It was his first experience with IT and when the IT team said don’t worry about a thing, he didn’t. Shortly before the deadline they announced that the project would slip. And then it slipped some more. When it was finally implemented, it failed in a public way, damaging the company’s reputation and Mr. M-and-N’s along with it. This background provided a context in which his outrageous behavior on our project made sense. And some of the possibilities the team had speculated about his logic-bubble turned out to be correct.

You don’t have to wait till someone exhibits troublesome behavior to consider the person’s logic-bubble. For example, it can be a valuable exercise in preparing for upcoming efforts, such as those in which you’re introducing change. As de Bono notes, the people who are backing a particular change are convinced of its value, but those who will have to implement the change and live with its consequences have their own logic-bubbles. Imagining the factors that might be driving or influencing someone else’s behavior can be a valuable exercise.

User Comments

1 comment
Mukesh Sharma's picture
Mukesh Sharma

"Putting yourself in another person's shoes", always helps - whether the other person is an end user, a team mate, a manager etc. This is a good practice to encourage amongst all team members. In most cases, it helps to take this one step further by discussing your take on the logic bubble, with the person directly (needs to be done very professionally though) - such open communication backed with the thought through logic bubble points, go a long way in building smooth working relationships. On the other end of it, I have seen people who over-analyse why others behave in a certain way; they don't openly discuss their findings and let the complaining attitude foster. Probably a negative logic bubble or rather even an illogical bubble that they build, knowingly or unknowingly. What are your suggestions to avoid such situations?

November 11, 2013 - 6:36am

About the author

AgileConnection is a TechWell community.

Through conferences, training, consulting, and online resources, TechWell helps you develop and deliver great software every day.