The power of the situation
When we analyze another person’s behavior, we tend to overfocus on their personality, and often neglect to pay adequate attention to the situation that the person was in.
If someone cuts you off in traffic, you may think that that person is rude and inconsiderate. However, you don’t know the other person’s situation - he or she may be taking a seriously injured person or a woman in labor to the hospital.
When someone makes a wrong decision in the workplace, you may automatically assume that that person is at fault. But you may not know all the details that went into the decision making process. For example, maybe the decision was forced by that person’s boss. Or the CEO. Or maybe you’re missing an important piece of information that influenced the decision.
It’s easy to assume things and be critical of the other people’s actions and say that you would’ve behaved differently. And maybe you would. But the perspective and the context matter a great deal.