You’ve probably read, that when someone has a different opinion to you or a different idea, then it’s your job to convince them otherwise. I mean, difference is awkward isn’t it? Your role is to influence them, to get them to see your view of the world, the business need, to enable them to change their mind. Get rid of the awkward moments.
Makes sense. That’s how you get things done, right? That’s what leaders do.
I agree. Well, almost.
I also think that there are times when it’s fine to be different, to have a different viewpoint. In fact, it’s more than fine. It’s needed. Desperately, urgently and unequivocally needed.
We are all different to each other. I’m not talking the obvious things here, like physical attributes or nationalities, but the subtitles like beliefs, values, perceptions.
We are a product of these things and we will have differences in them. So let’s accept this as fact.
These differences will drive argument, frustration, opposition, friction, emotional outbursts, passionate responses. This is GREAT! These kinds of pain are a necessity of life.
Because with these things come debate, innovation, progression, feelings, desire, accountability and commitment.
It’s precisely because there is difference, that people are able to be independent and the hurt that we go through, is the price that we pay in order to be so.
You see without difference, we can never move forwards. Difference doesn’t stop us, it opens our eyes, forces us to think about possibilities and solutions.
Embrace the differences you encounter, allow them to have a voice, an opportunity to present themselves. You won’t regret it. Well, maybe it’ll be awkward to begin with, but you can deal with that, right?