Good morning, Reno!
Today we shall cut to the chase. A few more posts are written and scheduled for the coming weeks, but I wanted to get something out before February as well.
I have met a lot of people in my time – school, work, social activities – and the more I meet, the more fascinated I am by the uniqueness of each. That said, there are also some startling similarities between some people who you may feel shouldn’t have anything in common. Fascinating!
I currently work on a team of 14, each with their own personalities, strengths, taste in music, opinions about Star Wars, favorite sports teams, ideal food they could eat for the rest of their life, and personal pursuits that take up their time outside of the work place. They bring something unique to the table, a gem of individuality, experience, and thought. And that doesn’t even include the extra 20-30 people that we interact with in addition.
In any job I’ve ever held, it’s always the uniqueness of the people that I worked with that made it exciting to be on the job together, turning rocks, solving problems, and finding personal things to connect with instead of always focusing on ‘work stuff.’ Work is work – let it be – but people are the lifeblood of any organization. That’s great if you have a revolutionary product or service, but what are you going to do as a business if you don’t have the amazing personnel to build, deliver, and sell it? Maybe it’s just how I operate, but I’m there for the peeps…
I’ve referred to the Strengths Finder 100,000,000 times, and all these years later it’s still one of the most valuable assessment tools I’ve ever participated in. The Individualization trait is one where you identify and bring out people’s most unique characteristics and abilities. You find ways to connect with them that let’s them know you’re important to you, and find relatable ways to interact. This helps with communication styles, conflict management, prioritization changes, and many other soft skills that are so sorely needed in the workplace.
People are as unique as their fingerprints, and being able to tap into that uniqueness is very important to me. Just like I need to be understood, I want those I work with to feel that way too. People with this Individualization trait are also very in tune with personality quirks, what people do and don’t like, how they prefer to operate, and the style in which you will work together.
This makes it particularly interesting every time I go through a large transition in life, and have to leave people behind because our paths are changing from what they’ve been. It’s also the loss or change of that relationship that weighs on me the most, especially because of the uniqueness that has been spent building that up. Relationships are an investment, and an invaluable one at that.
To me, there is nothing more precious than the time spent on relationships. There is incredible fulfillment to be found in listening to someone, helping with a problem, giving advice that you didn’t expect to be considered knowledgeable on, or just being a friend when someone needs a boost.
The people you want to keep around are the ones who:
- You genuinely connect with
- Add value to your life
- You enjoy watching grow and challenge themselves
- You seek advice from
- Let you be yourself
Think of how much value is brought into your own life by serving your colleagues and friends. Yes, it’s rare to find people who are interested in serving rather than taking, but that’s what makes that relationship so powerful. It’s OK to stand out (in a good way), and we shouldn’t be afraid to.