Should, Must, or Want?

Communicating effectively involves paying attention to details.

I was at a meeting recently that got quite heated, with three voices in particular standing out:

PERSON 1: They should do XYZ.

PERSON 2: They must do XYZ.

PERSON 3: They want to do XYZ.

Should = Morals

[Often means doing the right thing – the maximum]

Must = Obligation

[Often means doing what is legally required – the minimum]

Want = Desire

[Often means doing what we can get away with – enough]

Different people will often be at different stages. Rarely are all three perfectly aligned, and tension arises when there are gaps, and/or misunderstandings.

If we find ourselves disagreeing, it’s worth considering whether there is a difference in our motivation.

Why are we doing this?

Morals, Obligation, or Desire?


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