Being Accessible Doesn’t Automatically Make You Approachable…Starting With This Identity Issue Will.
It’s entirely possible to live, work, and play among people…and still completely miss people.
In my experience, you’re actually fortunate if the only consequence is missing them. In many cases, we don’t just miss people. We hurt them. I’ve spent more time than I care to admit having to apologize for missteps as a friend, peer, coworker, leader, and parent.
Let me offer one piece of advice:
Know who and what you’re not.
There’s a great scene in the TV show Friday Night Lights.
A high school football coach takes a job at a new school, and holds team tryouts. We’re taken to the locker room, where we see potential players lined up to weigh in. The coach stands at the scale with his clipboard, asking each person what position they’re aiming to play. Their responses are shown in rapid succession.
Over and over, the response is the same: “Quarterback.”
Players of all shapes and sizes all had in their minds the exact same thing. Had some been given that position, the results would’ve been catastrophic. Comical as it is to watch on television, it’s not fun in reality — for you or for other people.
The fastest path to knowing who and what you’re not?
Take that personality/skills/gifts/aptitude test with a team.
Personality tests can be useful…and there are many:
- Anything else
However, they all have a fatal flaw: you.
Nobody tells you that your own biases can skew the results. Just like statistics, you can make anything say anything. The presence of others you’ve given permission to be honest with you helps neutralize your blind spots.
So, find a test, find a team, and discover who and what you’re not.
It’s the fastest way forward.
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