Self-preference can be a pitfall


We all have unique and different talents. It’s how the world is put together. Everyone has something that makes him or her distinctive. Everyone is a snowflake. Everyone is a thumbprint. Everyone is unique. But, far too often, we lose sight of our purest talents.

It’s a common issue for organizations (and families) to overlook and misunderstand the talents and passions of their group. We all have natural instincts that were built in when we rolled off the line. As such, we all operate differently. We all do things differently. We approach problems from different perspectives, we like different things and we are, well, different.

Understanding differences among people creates better relationships. Using that understanding and leveraging it creates more productivity. Here’s the pitfall: you are more inclined to like someone that sees the world the same way as you. Therefore, you are more likely to be attracted to those types of people. Sounds all good, but it can lead to a lot of not good. A bunch of people gather around to solve a problem, each approaching that problem with the same perspective and same talents, and you’ve got a perfect storm – a perfect storm of inaction.

Group a bunch of fact-finder, researcher types and assign them the same problem – they’ll research it to death. Put together a group of action-oriented, catalysts on the problem and they’ll toss around ideas until somebody dies.

It takes a mix, a balance, and that’s hard to assemble since you generally like people just like yourself. You hire people like yourself. You socialize with people like yourself. Face it, you prefer yourself. Maybe greater productivity lies behind the walls erected by your self-preference? Maybe working with someone not like you will lead to more productivity? Maybe you should find out.

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