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Most profound thing I've learned in the past eight years is the difference between behavior and intention.

Behavior is what someone is doing, intention is why they're doing it.

You judge yourself based on your intention, and everyone else based on their behavior.
Intention is often inferred from behavior.

Almost all disagreements within an otherwise aligned team come from a misunderstanding about intention.

To minimize: when doing anything as part of a team, you should always specific *why* you're doing something instead of just what.
At Gumroad for example, issues often have a "what" header and a "why" header.

What: adding index to events table
Why: to speed up the homepage

It's important to clarify the goal - and make sure you agree on the goal - before providing feedback.
You're late to a meeting. You judge yourself on your intention to be on time and you know it was an accident that made you late.

If someone else is late, you may judge them based on their lateness instead of their intention to be on time.

That's a double standard!
Miscommunication and misunderstandings like this are rampant in a company that is 99% aligned. It only gets worse from there.

In politics most notably, someone may judge their own party based on its intention while judging the opposing party based on their behavior.
Let's say you don't think a new team member is working out. You're judging them based on their behavior.

Ask them their intention — if it's in the right place, work with them to get their behavior to match.

If it's not aligned, a change in behavior is unsustainable.
This goes for all relationships. Investors, employees, friends, family, significant others...

Behavior versus intention!
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