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Conversation over-heard at local coffee shop:

 “Look at that sorry dude out there, holding that big sign pointing to the new grocery store. What a pathetic way to earn a living.”

“Hey, I think you’re off the mark thinking he’s pathetic. He looks like he’s having a ball out to me.  Look at that little dance he’s doing when the cars are stopped at the red light. How fun!.”

Pathetic versus fun. It’s these widely divergent points of view that make life challenging…and fun…and stressful…and fascinating…and rich with opportunity.  The key to personal growth in these situations is awareness coupled with tolerance.

Neither of the two participants in the above conversation were wrong in their assessment of the situation.  We all see the world through our own filters.  Where they could easily go wrong would be in becoming judgmental of the other’s point of view.


Diversity of thought brings good complexity

My grandfather’s work philosophy — if I have two people who think alike on my team, I don’t need one of them — may be a touch extreme but underscores the value of respecting, and encouraging, multiple approaches.

Try looking at the issues through a different lenses, valuing dissimilar principles and drawing diverse conclusions. This open 360 view can yield a beautiful “crazy quilt” solution that incorporates this diversity of thought.

Diversity trumps ability. ~Scott E. Page, professor of complex systems, political science and economics 

Moving from diversity to inclusion can be a leader’s energy drink.

Who has all the answers? I know I don’t! By incorporating other’s viewpoints (those insights and connections that would never have occurred to us) into our personal data banks gives us a richer cache of thoughts and experiences with which to frame our future actions and behaviors. Put out your “personal solar panels” and start collecting new experiences.  Seek out the lessons to be learned from divergent approaches.


Keep yourself under your own microscope

No call here for being a narcissist just an earnest plea for self-awareness.  Ask yourself:  am I automatically rejecting someone’s point of view simply because it’s different from mine?  You don’t have to agree, just appreciate their viewpoint and do so without judgment.

What other advice would you offer?

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