What’s Your Programming?

It’s not at all important to get it right the first time. It’s vitally important to get it right the last time.”

~ Andrew Hunt and David Thomas

by Pete Ferguson

I recently attended a workshop on diversity in the workplace. It was actually specifically for Women in the workplace, so as one of a minority of men, it was a bit uncomfortable to be honest, but I’ve found personal growth only happens when I push my comfort zone.

One of the speakers, also male, asked the question, “what’s on your tape?” For those born in the last twenty years, the very first computer “disk drive” I every used was actually a tape cassette. What this leader was asking is what have you been preconditioned to do?

He went on to illustrate that early on in his career as a leader, he would schedule early morning meetings, and sometimes put together team golf outings on weekends.

He was well meaning of course, but the point of his illustration of his “tape” or programming is that he was thinking of what people like him would want to do. He didn’t think about how early morning meetings affected single mothers on his staff. He also didn’t think about how those who didn’t like golf felt about devoting part of their weekend – family time – to a game they didn’t particularly care for or felt very uncomfortable playing because it was not one of their talents.

His point was that as long as he assumed everyone else thought like he did and liked the things he did, he was unknowingly prejudice against others.

Screen Shot 2013-02-19 at 5.35.58 AMAnother example, if you are right-handed, you are likely very comfortable in the world you grew up in – as I am. Scissors, the old school desks, eating arrangements at a table, [golf clubs] etc. are all very well suited for a right-handed person. So unless I have a good friend or family member who is left-handed, I will never give the slightest thought about how my world is discriminatory against another.

Any code of your own that you haven’t looked at for six or more months might as well have been written by someone else. – Eagleson’s law

Introspection of internal thought continually can drive you mad, but intentional periodical review of the scripts which you have inherited is a healthy process of continual progression.

What scripts have you been handed that need to be rewritten?

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5 thoughts on “What’s Your Programming?

  1. How right you are. Love, Dad

    Sent from my iPad

    Address: 15419 S. Via Rancho Grande, Sahuarita, AZ 85629. Phone Number: 520 561 6411

    • Thanks Dad. You always ensured a wide variety of people came through our door for Sunday dinner, to stay the weekend, or longer. It opened my eyes to Asian cultures – which later paid off when work took me there. It also opened my mind to know that different is okay and worth exploring.

  2. Pete, thank you for illustrating powerfully how our programming can prevent progress if not periodically reviewed. The examples of early morning meetings, weekend golf outings and right-handed arrangements show clearly that our scripts require evaluation and modification. Thank you for the blessings you share and the blessing you are!

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