Its life Jim but not as we know it

March 12, 2009...... at 6:54 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A friend and I have been meeting with a lot of people and sometimes after a meeting I have thought, “Well that was a waste of time”. However, after each interview he would almost always compliment some aspect the person that we had just seen. Puzzled by this, initially I thought, he’s just not assessing competency the way I am, but tonight the penny dropped. He actually sees a different person to the one that I see.

My learning style is to mismatch, I focus on differences, inconsistencies and missing pieces as I gain understanding of a person. An unfortunate side effect of focussing on what’s missing is that the person being interviewed may leave the interview feeling that they are completely mismatched for the role. My friend, however, is a matcher, he focusses on the attributes that the person does have and on things they have in common with the role being discussed. By focussing on the positive aspects of the interaction, he causes the person being interacted with to feel pretty good about themselves, through a process of positive re-inforcement.
The interview normally goes well and the interviewees typically leave feeling pretty good about the whole affair.

While mismatching works very well for me most of the time because it cuts down what I need to understand about a new concept to just its differences, when it comes to people the side-effects are negative. When it comes to understanding people, by focussing on positives and similarities you produce a fundamentally better outcome, everybody leaves feeling pretty good about themselves and wants to interact with you again, its a win-win.


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