How Being “Different” Makes You a Better Leader
Be proud of being different. It makes you a better leader!
Sometimes being in a minority, or having a unique point of view, makes you consider others opinions better. You are typically more empathetic, flexible, adaptive. Why? Because you don’t come from a righteous position — self-doubts are built in from asking yourself often, “Am I doing the right thing?” or “Am I fitting in?” Having this built-in to your personality, and having the experience of embedding other’s point of views into your own introspection, enables you to listen to others with more humanity and humility. Being capable of hearing other’s ideas and understanding the humanity behind them makes leaders better people.
So celebrate diversity, especially in business. Encourage your people to be themselves, to bring their whole selves to work, not just the part that fits in a narrow frame-work of what is “normal” or “acceptable” or “the majority” — because being authentic and basing your approach from your hearth and soul creates a richer experience for all!
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I don’t know one person who feels “normal” all the time. We all have our of differences. I guess the feeling of feeling different equates to we don’t feel like we fit in.
How Being Different Makes You a Better Leader
Your uniqueness, your unique point of view, your unique ability to relate to problems in a different manner is going to be a blessing to your team. It is going to be a blessing to yourself if you can feel and be authentic. Your team will be benefiting because they will get the whole you. They will not only get the rational part of yourself or the controlled part of yourself. They will get your whole self and in turn you will be able to feel motivated, engaged, committed, happier with yourself.
You will be giving the best thinking and the best ideas that you can. So, there is a strong correlation between being yourself, being cool, embracing all your diversity, all your uniqueness and being a balanced and happier person. And if you’re happier, you are going to produce better work.
How Being Different Worked for Me
I am a European who grew up in Senegal, in Western Africa. It was not my country. It was very clear to me that I was I was a guest. I was not home. Since the very beginning, I have learned to be confronted with diversity, to living in a diverse world. And that created another interesting dynamic.
When I went back to France at the age of 13, I had never lived in France before. I realised that I wasn’t fitting in there either, because my whole prior experience had shaped me in a way that I was not typically French. I wasn’t relating to their experience (when I say “their”, I speak of my schoolmates) and I have been rejected. Very early on, that made me palpate what it is to not fit in.
Turning Your Uniqueness into Your Superpower
I have this multinational type of background. You have no idea how many times that difference has made a difference. I have been offered jobs that I would never have been offered if I didn’t have this unique combination of international backgrounds and languages not commonly associated among themselves. Every time I have been proud of my diverse background and embraced it, it has taken me to the next level.
In fact, I have learned over time that these were my superpowers. That has given me an ability to see the world differently than others. To connect dots in a way that was original and to propose ideas that were not only solid, but authentic and truly different.
Connecting the Dots to You
I am really passionate about fostering diversity and inclusion. Not as a system or a structure, but as a mindset, loving people who have had journeys that are not linear. I love to reflect on the oddities of life and the serendipity that certain circumstances or moments bring. And I love to give you the perspective and the meaning. I love to connect dots that do not seem logical. And I love to work with people who are nonconformists. So if you feel like you are ready to embrace that part of yourself, I think then we’re meant to be together.
If you want to give meaning to the various specialties that make you you, if you feel like you want to reveal aspects of yourself that deserve some light because they make you different in a truly powerful sense of the word, then just let me know and let’s engage. Let’s have a call and a conversation together to see where that could take us in terms of our coaching relationship.
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