Why Does He Care So Much about THAT?!!
Life is going. Things are urgent, important, and vibrant. I’m in the zone, making things happen, feeling the vibe. Then it happens.
Someone points out a tiny crack. Even worse, he’s worried about it, fretting about it, suggesting extreme precautions for fixing. And I can’t believe that anyone has invested the time … to write 100 little sticky notes that say exactly the same thing when one big note would have worked; to interrupt the conversation on a heartfelt idea to point out I’ve mispronounced a word; to check whether I want to order special paper for a document that’s late.
I’m not good at reviewing the soil composition when I’m moving mountains. I’m also not good at the opposite when someone brings up the mountain when I’m analyzing the soil.
The disruption is the same.
I tend to be drawn to people who think like I do. It’s so much easier to relate to them.
Why can’t everyone think like we do?
What to Do about the People Who Disrupt Our Lives
It’s a fact. We think that people who think like we do are brilliant, easy, and wonderful. They truly are intuitive, perceptive, and world-changing leaders in every way. But you know, the ones who we need most are the people who think differently.
We call them “difficult,” because they’re challenge to understand. That’s the value of being around them.
People who think differently than we do care deeply about things we don’t even think about. Therein lies their strength.
We should celebrate the people who disrupt our lives.
- Start with thank you. The second that you want to say “WHAT?!!” say “Thank you for saying (seeing, asking about) that.” Whatever issue (problem, outlandish idea) someone brings, know that he or she invested time thinking about it and bringing it to your attention. Say that you know that.
- Value the execution that comes from commitment. People who go to unimaginable extremes to make sure something is right care more about that something than we ever will — therefore they execute it better than we ever would. Rather than being perplexed by their values, value their commitment.
- Change their title from obstacle to safety net. Let them be on the team. Let them in on your goals. Invite them to take care of what they do well and know they’ll have your back on that.
Innovation, progress, and safety come from brave, valuable voices different from our own. The very differences that make them valuable also make it hard to hear them.
If you believe opposites attract, maybe you should.
Ever had an irritating, interrupting difficult person save your butt? Did it change you somehow?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
Work with Liz!!