We all know how challenging it can be to work with people who have different personalities than our own.
Have you ever noticed that you’re instantly drawn towards people who think like you?
It’s a natural phenomenon, known as the affinity bias.
The affinity bias basically means that we’re automatically drawn to people who are like us – people who think like us. This happens automatically. We don’t even necessarily realize why we feel drawn to the person.
It leads us to prefer hiring people who think like us, and to have a preference towards building a team around us who thinks similarly to the way we do.
Sometimes, we consciously choose to surround ourselves with people who think like us because we don’t want to have to deal with navigating different personalities and the challenges this can bring.
But the problem is that when we don’t surround ourselves with different personalities, we leave ourselves open to too many blind spots.
Simply put, we can’t see what we can’t see. If there’s no one on your team who thinks differently than you do, who can challenge your thinking, then your blind spots will continue to remain unseen.
This can be really dangerous in business.
For example, if you create a team full of people who are great at planning ahead, at thinking strategically and at making sure that plans are followed as outlined, you may miss out on a need to adapt quickly enough in the context of changing markets.
Conversely, if you create a team full of creative individuals who are able to quickly adapt and adjust plans as new information is collected, your team may end up finding it challenging to pursue any one particular path long enough to gain momentum with new projects.
When we create teams that are composed of a variety of different personalities, we create a situation where all different viewpoints are represented and can be incorporated into our work.
For instance, in discussions about whether to adapt or whether to continue as planned in the face of changing markets, each person can help uncover perspectives that the other had not considered. In openly discussing the different perspectives that come from different personalities, teams can often come to decisions that help them to cover their blind spots.
Hiring people whose values reflect the values of your organization is important. But ensuring that you are working with people who think differently than yourself will bring a whole new perspective to your business. It will help you to better understand the needs of clients who don’t think like you. It will open your mind to business opportunities that you may have otherwise never seen. It will simply help you to see the world differently than you do today.
I encourage you – try to open yourself up to individuals who think differently than yourself.
As you go through your day, start noticing when you’re instantly drawn to others who think like you. Start trying to open yourself up to those who think differently. Listen to their perspectives. Reflect on what they have to say. Start noticing how this can bring a whole new level to your game in business.
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