Yesterday, a friend and I walked to get coffee from a certain shop a few blocks away from our office. After getting outside our building he turned one way and I turned the other.
I asked where he was going and he said that he always walked that way, as he was pointing down the sidewalk, along the busy street. I told him that I always walked in the other direction--crossing the street, cutting down a side street, and then turning left at the corner and the shop is right there. We talked for a minute about the merits of each route, but decided that we would walk his way there and my way back.
On the the way there, he said that on his first day at the office, his new co-worker took him that way and picked up dry cleaning along the way. He hasn't changed his path since. I told him that something similar happened to me. A person in the office gave me general directions and I found the coffee shop on my own. I also found that I liked walking down the small side street which had a lot of trees and a few interesting shops along it.
There was nothing inherently wrong about going one way versus the other. I found it interesting that we both developed patterns of behavior based on seemingly random events.
This conversation made me think about the point that there is always more than one way to do something. In situations where I'm faced with a differing opinion, I'll tend to be flexible and receptive. I want to seek understanding before determining what path make the most sense for me or the organization.
A problem can be solved multiple ways, but the right solution is relative. Does it align with you and your values?
My path to the shop worked for me because it was a quiet, scenic path and that's what I wanted on my walk to get coffee. The other route along the busy street felt like I was back in the office.