It’s old news and I think we all know …
If we’re not adding value, we’re taking it away.
So we’re busy adding value, doing great things, working, building, being productive. We want to get on with what we know how to do well. We do something that adds to the big thing and it gets bigger and better.
Somewhere near every one of us is someone who thinks differently. He or she is smart as we are, but has different experience or a different view of how things work. He wants to add his own extra value. She has reasons to care and contribute. He might not know the process, the culture, or the traditions. One’s a coworker. One’s a customer. One’s a big brand client.
Most come with a job. We have to include them.
The temptation often is to move forward. Try to ignore them or keep them from the core of things. Add our value and show them when we’re done. That makes it hard for even the most collaborative and curious to find the right way to join in.
But what if we invite them? What if we ask these different thinkers to sit beside us, to invest in our quest and be part of the process?
They’ll bring ideas, thoughts, and opinions. They’ll influence what we’re doing. They will challenge our assumptions. People who think differently make us uncomfortable … and that can make communication and progress seem a lot slower.
The more different we find someone’s experience and thinking, the more we should consider his or her questions and reasoning. It’s the best safety net and idea test in the population. We love and understand our own thinking. Agree with the guy who thinks unlike us and we’ve got something hot cooking.
That difference — in their experience, how they see things, and how they do things — is added value we might be overlooking. That influence could the the one thing that pushes us to add the magic that was missing.
When do you invite a different influence to be part of what you’re doing?
–ME “Liz” Strauss
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