I’d adhere to the axiom put forth by PepsiCo CEO, Indra Nooyi, who says, “Assume positive intent. You will be amazed at how your whole approach to a person or problem becomes very different.”

Of all the nuggets of wisdom I have heard proffered over the years, this one was both the simplest to adopt, and yielded the biggest sea change in attitude and outcomes for me personally.

Why? We are continuously confronted with gray areas in life. People are poor communicators, they are often in internal conflict themselves, and life is inherently paradoxical.

When you assume positive intent, all of those gray areas go from “f-u” moments, to “breathe and understand” moments. You soften, you empathize, you give the benefit of the doubt. You make fewer decisions based upon emotion and ego.

You feel better, and the field of play changes before you.

It’s easy. Try it.

Mark Sigal

Vocabulary Help

  • amazed – surpreso, maravilhado
  • Assume positive intent – Assuma uma intenção positiva, não assumir que a intenção das pessoas é a pior possível, mas o contrário
  • breathe and understand – respirar e entender
  • change – mudança
  • f-u – fuck you – vá se danar
  • give the benefit of doubt – dar o benefício da dúvida
  • gray areas in life – áreas cinzentas na vida
  • hear (hear, heard, heard) – ouvir
  • nuggets of wisdom – pérolas de sabedoria
  • often – frequentemente
  • poor comunicators – comunicadores pobres
  • put forth – proposto por
  • soften – amacia, tornar-se mais gentil
  • Try it – experimente
  • whole approach to a person – forma de lidar com uma pessoa
  • yield – render, produzir
  • You feel better – Você se sente melhor
  • You make fewer decisions based upon emotion and ego – Você toma menos decisões baseadas na emoção e no ego