Earlier this week, I ended up counselling two sets of organisations with regards to each other. They were trying to work with each other but had various concerns and felt that they needed to be “hard” to ensure that they didn't get over-run.
Whilst it is perfectly legitimate to have concerns — especially when it comes to financial matters — most of the concerns would have evaporated had both sides simply assumed good faith about the other.
And as someone who was privy to the private concerns of both parties, I can confidently state that they were both acting out of good faith — they just didn't have the same opinion about the other.
I generally live my life with the assumption of good faith with regards the behaviour of others. And as a result have a lot less to worry about in terms of my interactions. To be fair, this has not always ended up in ideal results.
But the assumption of good faith forms part of the basis for a rule of ethics — which, in my opinion, certainly lends itself towards a better quality of life in general than a rule of law.
Which do you prefer and why? Do you assume good faith in your interactions? Let me know in the comments!