It’s easy and tempting to judge others from the outside based on their actions, without considering their environment or circumstance. My study of environmental chemical engineering gave me good instincts about cause and effect. I used this as a coach, always considering what might be causing an athlete to take an action, rather than just focusing on changing the action itself. Sometimes this worked, sometimes it did not. The best coaches don’t just change what you’re doing and they also know why you’re doing it, because they want to prevent it from happening again.
Getting to the root cause is also something that I learned in Engineering. In studying how failure happens, we learned that there are usually multiple contributing factors.
Perhaps this is why I cringe when I hear comments about how simple it is for someone to pull themselves out of poverty.