API: The Key to Building Strong Relationships and Thriving in Difficult Times

Kyoko Uchida
3 min readJan 10, 2023

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Ok, let me start by clarifying that as a designer, when I’m talking about API, I don’t mean Application Programming Interface. In this case I mean Assume Positive Intent. Labeling this approach as API helped me applying this behavior in daily life and I hope it will help you too!

Assuming positive intent (API) at the workplace is a crucial component of building and maintaining healthy and productive relationships with colleagues. It involves approaching interactions with the belief that others are acting with good intentions, rather than automatically assuming that they are acting with malicious or negative intentions.

There are many benefits to API in the workplace. It helps to create a positive and supportive work environment, fosters a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration, and can prevent misunderstandings and conflicts. API can also have a positive impact on organizational culture as a whole, foster a growth mindset, and a more inclusive and welcoming work environment for all employees.

In addition to these benefits for the work environment, API can also have personal benefits, such as reduced stress, improved communication and relationships with colleagues, and improved problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Because practicing API at a personal level can help the brain to operate rationally rather than reactively, it improves the cognitive ability that will lead to more thoughtful actions.

API is especially important in difficult times, such as during a crisis or when facing challenges at work. When we are under stress or facing difficult circumstances, it can be easy to jump to negative conclusions about others’ intentions or to become more reactive in our interactions. However, API can help us to approach these situations with a more positive and constructive mindset. By assuming that our colleagues are acting with good intentions, even in difficult times, we can create a supportive and collaborative work environment that is better equipped to handle challenges and find solutions. This can be especially important during a crisis, when clear and effective communication is crucial.

It’s important to note that API does not mean ignoring or dismissing the negative impacts of someone’s actions. If someone’s behavior is causing harm or causing problems at work, it’s important to address it and find a way to resolve the issue. However, API can help to create a more constructive and positive approach to addressing these issues.

In conclusion, API is crucial for building and maintaining healthy and productive relationships with colleagues and can have a positive impact on organizational culture and personal well-being. It helps to create a positive work environment, prevents misunderstandings and conflicts, and fosters a culture of trust, respect, and collaboration. Especially in difficult times, API can be an important skill to practice in order to create a supportive and collaborative work environment and improve overall well-being. We all have choices, let’s choose API.

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